Our crew agreed to work Saturday, but let our boss know everyone had plans on Saturday night and could not work Sunday. They told us if you don't work Sunday, then you don't work Saturdays Is this illegal?
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
First of all, being an off the books employee is illegal. That said, an employer is free to set the hours and days upon which you work so long as he compensates you appropriately. Depending on the work you perform, who you perform it for, and the compensation paid, you may have a claim against your employer. For example, if you pave roads for a municipality, you'd have to be paid on the books and at a certain rate. Feel free to email me with more details, and I'll try to provide a more complete answer.
Criminal Defense Attorney
It is illegal to have employees working for you that are not "on the books". It is also illegal for you to not pay taxes even if you are employed "off the books"
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In addition to the question you raised, I would ask that you consider another issue: whether you are indeed an "employee" or an "independent contractor"?
There are facts and circumstances which should be reviewed concerning your situation to accurately define the whether or not this relationship with the person referred to as your boss is actually an employer or not. You may in fact be an employee; however, maybe not and instead an independent contractor. The distinction is very important because the proper classification of you as an employee or independent contractor can impact not only rights that you may have under employment law, but also can impact the tax treatment of all parties involved, for example, income tax and social security/medicare taxes.
Good luck with your situation, and please consider consulting directly with an attorney concerning your situation for both employment law issues and tax law issues. Also, the www.irs.gov website contains helpful information.
Suzanne Alexandra Ascher, Esq., CPA, Tax LL.M.
Legal disclaimer by Suzanne Alexandra Ascher, Esq: My answer is strictly for information and education purposes only and therefore my answer does not form any attorney-client relationship and attorney-client privilege between me and you. These questions and answers on AVVO.COM are no substitute for actual qualified legal advice by an actual licensed attorney in good standing with the bar who can become fully informed of your entire situation above and beyond the limited description of your situation in your question. Further, nothing posted in this public forum of AVVO.COM is deemed confidential or privileged communication. Finally, in accordance with IRS Circular 230 disclosure, federal (United States) tax advice provided in this communication is neither intended nor written to be used, and cannot be used, by to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or to promote, market, or recommend to anyone a transaction or matter addressed in this communication.
Your arrangement is outside the law, you may wish to consider reporting your employer to the department of labor.
This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.