If a non-profit provides housing and food during an employee’s 24 hour shift, can it pay a per day stipend or is it required to pay minimum wage?

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If a non-profit provides housing and food during an employee’s 24 hour shift, can it pay a per day stipend or is it required to pay minimum wage?

We are a religious based, non-profit, less than 2 full-time employees and 1 part-time. Currently we are reviewing if we are in compliance with minimum wage laws. Traditionally we provided room and board for the full-time staffer (24 hours – 5 days) and the same for the part-time staffer (24 hours – 3 days) and only paid a per day stipend. We would like to look at other staffing options – 1 full-time day, 1 full-time night and weekend staffer. This would mean that we are providing room and board for 5 nights a week for 1 employee and weekends for the other. Can we still pay a stipend to these 2?

Asked on April 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The best way to determine whether minimum wages are to be paid to the employees you are writing about with or without a stipend per day in addition to room and board is to have an attorney that practices in the area of employment law draft up an employee contract for the people that work for the non-profit organization that you are writing about to be signed by the employee and the entity's representative.

Depending upon what is agreed to in writing as to stipend or wages and room/board and the scope of the duties of the employee and hours worked should be in compliance with your state's labor laws. It is important to set forth what the per day value of the room and board would be in the suggested written employment agreement.

If the two employees agree to the amount of the stipend in terms of other benefits provided and assuming the total package is greater than the hourly minimum wage in the state that the non-profit is for actual hours worked, the stipend, room, board package signed by the employee should be in compliance with your state's minimum wage laws.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption