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Family Member Helping Out At Work (CA)

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  • Family Member Helping Out At Work (CA)

    My cousin & his wife run a restaurant. I sometimes go in to help out when they're short. Sometimes I'm a cook, sometimes I'm a server, sometimes I'm a host, sometimes I bus tables, sometimes I make deposits, etc. I "volunteer" my services (I get free food 24/7/365 so ... they usually don't give me cash). Do I need to be on payroll? How much can I "work" and not get them in trouble? What if they pay me (every now and then, they pay me cash)?

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    Yes you do need to be on payroll as an employee and be paid at least minimum wage and all the other wage and hour laws that apply to employees apply to you too. State and federal labor and tax agencies do not look fondly upon companies who pay their "employees" under the table, or allow "volunteers". Generally speaking, you cannot "volunteer" your time to a for-profit company.
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