Ask HR: Hiring Temp help – Can I pay cash?

Dear HR: Our office is moving to a paperless record-keeping system. We could use a couple of people just for a day or two to move our paper file boxes from our storage unit over to our office. My office manager volunteered her husband and teenage son for the job. Since the job is only a day or two, can I just pay them each $50 cash?


HR Answer: An employee is an employee – even if the employment only last a few hours or couple days. Hiring even casual labor can prove to be quite complicated:

  • Under wage and hour law you will need to pay them at least minimum wage. Currently minimum wage in Oregon is $9.75 per hour so $50 for the job may not cover all hours worked
  • In this example, it is unlikely a payment that small will require withholdings but you will still need to report the payment to taxing authorities
  • Complete form I-9 fully on the employee’s first day of work (Ordinarily you have 3 business day to complete Section 2)
  • Workers’ Compensation liability if they are injured on the job
  • There are also additional steps an employer must take before legally hiring a minor

If you would like assistance with your hiring processes, or have questions about other employment issues, please feel free to contact us.