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Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1952
Experience:  Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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I am with a local Methodist church in California. Some of

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I am with a local Methodist church in California. Some of our staff are full-time, exempt. Some office staff are part-time, non-exempt.

A few of our employees are 'casual employees' - particularly some musicians and childrens' choir directors. We pay them a flat rate per performance, and handle all the payroll, withholding, FICA, W2, etc. as you would any employee.
These particular folks do not fill out time sheets, etc., because pay is by the event. All are happy with this - but just checking... is there any legal issue with this?

Employment-LawExpert :

Hello and thank you for your question today

Employment-LawExpert :

Are you online with me?

Customer:

Yes

Employment-LawExpert :

Welcome to the chat

Customer:

Thanks.

Employment-LawExpert :

Unfortunately, doing things like this could result in someone making an unpaid wage claim later on against you.

Customer:

Such as?

Employment-LawExpert :

Currently, you are hiring these people as non-exempt employees. When you hire someone as an employee, you must pay them based on all time they actually work. So, just because you pay them by event does not mean the law sees it that way. They could state that they should have been paid hourly. As to what would have been owed, you can see what would have been owed here:

Employment-LawExpert :

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_overtime.htm

Employment-LawExpert :

The other option is that you could try to hire them as an independent contractor, however, you also need to be careful of this, depending on the circumstances. To actually be an independent contractor, you would need to follow certain criteria. This can be found here:

Employment-LawExpert :

Otherwise, you would be paying them as part time employees and their compensation must be done hourly

Customer:

We do fully regard them as employees. But they are compensated per event.

Customer:

I see this commonly done in various areas. Does it violate any labor laws?

Employment-LawExpert :

I understand what you are saying, but the only way to pay someone by event is to make them an exempt employee, or to make them an independent contractor. Otherwise, employees cannot contract away their right to be compensated hourly for the work they perform. It is done regularly in many different types of jobs, but it is not lawful, and all of those companies are likely opening themselves up to labor claims if a worker ever decided to bring such a claim against them.

Customer:

Okay.

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