Ask HR: Can a husband-wife team’s pay go to one person?

Dear HR,

We employ a husband and wife that work together as a property management team. While they will record their work time separately for record-keeping, they have requested that their total monthly salary and in-kind rents all be paid in the husband’s name. Is this legally permissible?


HR Answer,

Cardinal is unable to combine the time reported by both employees into one payment to be made to a single employee each month. Having an employee work for you, without compensation, would technically mean the employee would be working for free, which is a violation of both state and federal wage and hour laws. Best practice would be to ensure your employees are classified correctly under both at the state and federal regulations and then split the salary and in-kind rents.