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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.