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This is a question about labor classification in California.

Customer Question
Good day, this is...

Good day, this is a question about labor classification in California. May I continue?

Lawyer's Assistant: OK. To minimize me, please click the down arrow at the top right corner of this box.

We are working as in a B&B as a "working couple". We do not live onsite any longer. Only I receive a check, my spouse who works 40+ hours does not. We are being told that only one of us receives pay. We would like to know if this correct?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

As noted above, California

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

I have heard them say, "at will". But we are regulated by hours worked. In other words, we can only work 8 hr, 40 hrs per week NOW, but before, we worked upwards of 12 hours each.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Thank you, ***** ***** that is the question.....

Submitted: 12 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
5/25/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 12 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,393
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney with Just Answer. I'll be here to help today! Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? By the way, the system will automatically ask for a phone call. By no means are you required to accept it.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 12 months ago

In your case, it is not legal to give only you a check and not your spouse. CA Labor laws require that any individual who is working for another receive at least minimum wage for their performance.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 12 months ago

You may want to consider filing a complaint with the Dept. of Labor Relations and you may also want to send a breach of contract letter. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract (click here).

Follow up questions are free, so did you have any additional questions? If not, were you satisfied with my service today?

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Customer reply replied 12 months ago
D, thank you for your response. from 2011 - 9/16, my husband and I worked as onsite managers for a b&b. during this time only I received a check for pay which we were told were for both of us as we were considered a working couple. The pay was $2,500 per month gross. After research, we found that if I applied the salary to just me, I would be paid properly less OT/DT, but if we split that amount it would be way below minimum wage with no OT/DT applied. We lived onsite up to 9/16 and worked round the clock. We were provided housing and were told that a $2,500 deduction was to be applied towards housing costs, but was never reflected on my check. In 10/16, we were moved offsite and no longer were onsite managers.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 12 months ago

I'm so sorry to hear about this situation. What the employer is doing is completely illegal. I would recommend calling the Department of Labor immediately to help resolve this issue. What typically happens is that the DOL will schedule an informal mediation to help resolve the dispute and it means that you and your husband should be compensated for the time that he worked.

If you click here, you can get started on filing a wage claim. Did you have any follow up questions at all?

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Customer reply replied 12 months ago
In 1/1/17, the owners came back and said they had to legalize us and put us on a hourly with a cap of hours we could work. We then began to receive separate pay with separate hours. Prior to this (2011 - 2016) we were not paid separately. What is the classification in California for a "
Customer reply replied 12 months ago
working couple? Can we be paid under this classification below minimum wage or not paid at all?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 12 months ago

There is no classification for that. You cannot be paid below minimum wage unless you are working for tips, which in that case your wage may be adjusted generally. To me, you have a classic wage claim case that you need to get on top of ASAP.

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