Is it legal for my boss/landlord to pay me 2.50 per our just because he gives me a price break on my rent.

My boss/landlord gives me 20.00 dollars a day and free room
and board but works me 45-50 hours of work a week. It works out
to where I end up making 2.50 an hour and he gets 1700.00 in
free labor a month for rent is this illegal if so what can I do
about it.

Asked on October 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal. With only a few other very narrow exceptions, the only time that employers can pay less than minimum wage is tipped employees, if the tips make up (and hopefully more than make up) the shortfall. Otherwise, you must be paid at least mininum wage; if hourly, must be paid for all hours worked; must be paid overtime if you are not exempt from overtime (and it is very unlikely that you would exempt). Room and board can be used to make an otherwise minimum-wage job attractive or viable, but does not substitute for minimum wage. You may well have  a wage and hour claim and should speak with the state department of labor about this.


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