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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1241
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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Customer Question

I am a volunteer for a youth organization that has a day camp in a large regional park. For two years we have had a caretaker who receives free rent, including electricity, water and trash pick-up in exchange for doing 10-20 hours of work each week at the camp. His work was spotty from the beginning but it has become increasingly worse, with the trash emptied infrequently and the bathrooms that he is supposed to keep clean are only marginally clean. We would like to let him go and bring in a new caretaker but he claims what we have been doing (providing free rent in lieu of a salary) is illegal and if we try to evict him he will sue the non profit youth organization that runs the camp.
He never signed an employment agreement or any kind of contract, but the Camp Director thought he would be a good worker and allowed him and his wife to move into the caretaker's cottage without any signed agreement. Can we fire him and evict him? Is it legal in California to provide housing in lieu of a salary?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

Do you direct how and when the caretaker performs his job duties? Is he free to work for other organizations as well?

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