Is it legal for my employer to send me to their house on company time to clean, wash windows on a ladder, wash their cars, paint, etc?

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Is it legal for my employer to send me to their house on company time to clean, wash windows on a ladder, wash their cars, paint, etc?

I was subjected to this and I didn’t agree to go but was told if I didn’t they’d find someone else to do my job.

Asked on May 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As long as you were paid, it is legal--though if you are salaried, not hourly staff, as long as you made your normal weekly salary, they don't need to pay you additional for this; however, if you are hourly, you must be paid for all yours spent working, whether onsite or offsite, and this qualifies as "work" since is something you are doing as part of your employment, at your employer's behest.

Employers determine employee duties and direct what they have to do. If an employer makes it a job duty to wash windows, car, paint, etc. then that's your job (at least for the day(s) they tell you to do so). There is no law saying that a job cannot legally include doing chores or work directly for a supervisor, manger, or employer.

Note that if you had an employment contract, however, which set out your job duties, that contract would be enforceable; you could not be required to do anything in contravention of it.


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