If I’m homeless and get a seasonal job what are my rights about pay and hours?

If you are hired to staff a holiday tree sale, a summer carnival, a pumpkin patch, a Halloween costume sale or any other “pop-up” seasonal business, you are entitled to the same Fair Labor Standards as permanent employees. You have to provide the employer with your correct contact information and your Social Security number (because the employer is obligated to withhold income taxes and Social Security money and may need to mail your last check to you after the season) and in exchange, you should get full correct contact information about the employer in case anything goes wrong and you need to assert a legal claim against that employer. The U.S. Department of Labor, which regulates and enforces laws about wages and hours, states the following facts about seasonal jobs:

You should at least be paid the federal minimum wage- no matter how few hours you work. Currently, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

Jobs that include tips have to pay at least “$2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equal at least the federal minimum wage.”

You can only get overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours in a week. You do not get overtime pay just because you work late or on the weekends; it is only about the number of hours you work.

Laws about when you get breaks for meals or rest are made by state governments, not the federal DOL.

If you are not paid at all or do not get fair wages, you can file a complaint with the DOL.

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