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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Can I take my hourly employees out of town for a weekend, picking

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Can I take my hourly employees out of town for a weekend, picking up all expenses as reward for a job well done, without paying their hourly wage and overtime for the weekend?
Yes, if the trip is entirely voluntary on the employee's part. Only mandatory attendance is compensible time. See, e.g., 29 C.F.R. 785.27; Chao v. Tradesmen Int'l, Inc. (6th Cir. 2002) 310 F3d 904, 910.

However, you will have to report the value of the trip and remit payroll taxes, because the trip is greater than a nominal fringe benefit ($20 per year). So, if you want the trip to be entirely free, then you would probably need a CPA or payroll service to calculate the amount of taxes you would have to pay to cover the employee's additional phantom income.

Hope this helps.
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