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My Employees Compensation Package Includes Room & Board. Do I Still Have to Pay Minimum Wage?

Sometimes in employment situations in White Plains, NY you might have an employee who lives on premises, it could be at home, a healthcare worker, and it also can be someone who works in an apartment building and acts as a superintendent or a laborer in the building and they are provided in exchange for services rendered room and board. That might be in the form of an apartment that’s rent free, it may be in the form of a bedroom in a home which you are taking care of elderly clients, it could be in the form of also providing meals, it could be in the form of part time or full time living status and there are appropriate provisions in the law which allow the employer to count that provision of room and board as part of the employees wage. What you need to be very careful of in this situation is that the minimum wage law is still applied even though that room and board is being provided as part of the wage and you must be very careful to document it and keep track of exactly how much that room and board is taking in terms of a deductions against that employees regular wage. You need to at the end of the day to make sure even when the person is living on the premises, they are not working every hour of every day. Keeping track of employees time is very critical, especially in this living situations because often times employees will leave the company or the employer and you find out that they are now claiming that they worked around the clock or they were woken up extra early to perform a particular task or that nine times out of ten they work 60 hours and not 40 hours a week and that’s where the problems arise. So, even though you may have provided them with free room and board and you deducted that from their minimum wage or hourly wage so that you still make the minimum wage and they are now saying that they worked extra hours and that pay doesn't amount to proper pay under New York state of federal law.

This informational blog post was provided by Kim Berg, an experienced White Plains, New York Employment Attorney.

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