Can an employer make you do personal stuff forthem while on the company’s time?

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Can an employer make you do personal stuff forthem while on the company’s time?

This has nothing to do with the job just as she calls them “honey-do’s”. She has made us detail her car and move her washing machine. This was not part of being maintance or otherwise work related.

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have an employment contract, including a union agreement, which sets out your responsibilities, your employer may legally have you perform personal tasks for her, such as moving her appliances, detailing her car, etc. If you are an hourly employee, you must be paid for all time spent doing this--it is still work, because they are tasks directed by your employer--but as long as you are paid, it is legal.

Not that the following concerns you, but there could be tax consequences for the company from this; for example, it may be that the time you spend on personal tasks for an employer is not a valid work-related expense for purposes of deducting the wages from employer income when determining income tax. However, that is the company's concern; your only concern, and the company's only legal obligation to you, is to pay you for this time.


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