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What is the law concerning work in exchange for room and board and non-compete non-circumvent?

Los Angeles, CA |

Currently I have a ORAL contract (not written)requiring me to work 49 hours a week (7 days a week) or else I will be kicked out on the street and he keeps trying to change to 10 hours. If I get kicked out I will have nowhere to go.Also I was required to sign a non compete-non circumvent contract and I am being told that he can sue me if I get a job at another company as his business is based in Nevada yet he lives and works in LA so CA law does not apply. He claims he is providing 1500 per month in services forcing me to work as I am disabled (SSDI) and i was told volunteering was a way to build my resume. Also my boss had me place his car in my name and says he can do whatever he wants to me as he has this power.

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Attorney answers 3


This idiot is a tyrant. The non-compete non-circumvent are unenforceable. You need an employment lawyer since I am sure he is in violation of numerous California labor laws.

Out on the street is better than slavery.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

Michael Robert Kirschbaum

Michael Robert Kirschbaum


I like what you said better.


This person is taking advantage of you and probably breaking every law in the book in doing so. There is no such thing as free labor. He is trying to control you with fear and intimidation. Yes, a legitimate employer can apply room and board but not without a written agreement, and then, only up to a maximum of $37.63 per week. And he still must pay you for overtime if you work more than 8 hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek.

His story about being able to sue you if you get job with another company is total B.S. You have the right to work anywhere you wish in California. No law in Nevada can prevent that.

You have to find a way to separate from this guy. Yes, you can sue him for wages he probably owes you and, probably many other violations of law he has committed. But if housing is preventing you from doing so, I don't know what I can tell you other than to find another place to live. Rent a room from someone. Try to get government assistance. Whatever you do, don't let yourself be owned by this person.

They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.

Michael Charles Doland

Michael Charles Doland


To the asker: Mr. Kirschbaum is a very well respected member of the Avvo community specializing in exactly what you need. There are others you can find in the Find a Lawyer section at the top and at the bottom of this page.


I agree with the previous responders. Your post reveals multiple violations of California law; so many, in fact, that addressing each one in this space exhaustively is likely neither possible nor productive.

I recommend that you contact a local employment law attorney as soon as possible to determine your rights and options. Alternatively, you can file a claim with the California Labor Commissioner (I've linked their Office Locator page below), but if you do so, please be aware of the limitations of that office. Specifically, while they can pursue your wage and hour claims for free, they will not be able to give you specific legal advice in the event your tenancy is terminated. For that reason, I believe a private attorney best suits your needs.

I'm sorry this is happening to you. It's not right, but help is out there.

I wish you luck.

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