Resident Apartment Managers who Live On Premises Must Be Paid Minimum Wage
Apartment management companies and owners have a difficult time abiding by California’s resident apartment manager payroll laws because they are very complicated. Hopefully I can simplify the topic in this article. This area of the law is very complicated. See a competent employment lawyer for advice for your specific situation.
If you are a resident apartment manager who was not paid correctly, contact Strauss & Strauss APC now for a free consultation.
Rent Credit against Minimum Wage
The rules for resident apartment manager pay are different depending on whether one person or a couple/roommates receives free or reduced rent in lieu of pay.
Single Resident Apartment Manager
In a nutshell, a single resident apartment manager cannot get more than a credit of $451.89 against minimum wage earned. What this means is that if the employee works more than 56.5 hours in a month, the employee must be paid at least minimum wage ($8.00/hour since January 1, 2008) for each hour worked in excess of that amount. However, in order for the employer to credit this $451.89 against the employee’s earnings, the employer and employee must enter into a written agreement that allows for the credit to be applied.
Example: Jane employee works 80 hours each month as a resident apartment manager at an apartment building in California. Instead of paying Jane for the hours she works, her employer gives her an apartment to live in for free, though she signed an agreement authorizing the employer to do so.* Under these circumstances, Jane is owed at least $188 for every month that she worked there since January 1, 2008. I reached this conclusion by multiplying the total number of hours she worked (80) by the current minimum wage ($8/hr), which equals $640. I then subtracted the maximum rental credit ($451.89) from the $640, which leaves a difference of $188.
Resident Apartment Manager Couple/Roommates
The same rule above applies to a couple (or roommates) that both are employed by the apartment management company or owner as resident apartment managers, except that the maximum rental credit that can be subtracted from the employee’s minimum wage owed is $668.46.
Example: John and Jane are a husband and wife who both work as resident managers for Apartment One, an apartment building in California, where they work 160 hours total (combined) each month. Apartment One does not pay John and Jane for their work; instead, it gives them free rent, but they signed an agreement letting Apartment One do so.* Under these circumstances, John and Jane must be paid a total of $611.54 in minimum wage each month, in addition to free rent at Apartment One, for every month they worked since January 1, 2008. (The amount would be slightly less going back before 2008, because the amount is calculated using the minimum wage in effect at the time the work was performed, and the minimum wage was lower in 2007 and even lower in 2006.)
*These figures assume that the fair market value of their rentals is over $677.84 per month for the individual and $1,002.69 for the couple. If the fair market value was below these amounts, then the amount they would be owed would be different. Please contact an experienced wage claim lawyer for an explanation.
Pay Days: If a resident apartment manager works enough hours to entitle him or her to payment in addition to a rental credit, then the employer must pay the resident apartment manager at least twice per month.
Hours Worked: The standard for determining how many hours a resident apartment manager works to add up all the time the employee is subject to the control of the employer, including the time the employee is suffered or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so, and the time spent carrying out assigned duties. If you think you were working uncompensated hours as a resident apartment manager, contact Strauss & Strauss APC now for a free evaluation.
Overtime and Doubletime Pay for Resident Managers: Overtime at 1.5 the employee’s regular rate of pay must be paid for all hours worked in excess of 8 in one day or 40 in one week. The other California overtime laws are in effect.
Lunch and Rest Breaks: The same California lunch break laws and rest break laws apply to Resident Apartment Managers as apply to most non-exempt workers in CA.
If you need legal representation in a wage claim to collect amounts owed to you for when you worked as a resident apartment manager, contact Strauss & Strauss APC now.