Is it legal for me to help my dad at his office doing filing, cleaning, typing without being paid?

I am 19 years old and live in my parents house. I do not pay any rent or other
expense for living with my parents. My dad owns his own business. I would like to
help my dad at his office doing filing, cleaning, typing. I do not want to be
paid. Is this legal or does my dad have to pay me for helping him?

Asked on September 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your father needs to pay you--at least minimum wage--unless you are an owner of the business. All non-owner workers, including adult family members, must be paid for working; there is no legal "volunteer" or unpaid work. Since being paid will result in social security contributions for you and potentially make you eligible for unemployment in the future should you stop working for him, this is not a bad thing; and you can turn around and pay "rent" to your father or gift him the money if you don't want to keep it.

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