Mitchell Harris (Sockdolager Brewing) Texas LLC 3 months ago
3 Airforce guys work for 3 hours and case beer and clean up after canning? They get 15 beers each for canning 12 plus cases of beer.
Basically they reduce their out of pocket cost weekly by $60 and the Brewery gets 12 cases plus of beer canned.
Do we maintain an employment file? Do we get w-4, and I -9. They get no $/they get beer in lieu of $!
how do you deal with family members that help the brewery on larger events and are present a couple of hours and expect no consideration or $? They may get 2 0r 3 beers? or nothing?1 Reply
Laura HandrickModerator3 months ago
Kudos to you for figuring out how to get employees to work for beer! Since you’re not a non-profit, they can’t be considered volunteers exactly.
It’s in your best interest to treat these workers as ’employees’ and provide worker’s comp insurance (what happens if they slip on a beer spill and split their head open?). You also want to do things correctly from a payroll and tax basis in case you’re audited. If they ask to be paid in cash (or check) in lieu of beer, you’ll have to honor that.
You don’t have to pay them cash per se, since they’re working for barter (beer!), but you should value their work time correctly by tracking the time worked and using the ‘cost’ (not retail) value of the beer they receive in wages (otherwise, you also have to record a sales transaction for the beer sale …). You will, of course, need to make sure you comply with minimum wage laws. So, if that $60 they save in beer costs, translates to $30 cost basis for that beer, then they’re only getting $10/hour… (even though it feels like $20 to them!)
Here’s how to do it on the cheap. 1) You’ll need W-4 and an I-9, since you essentially control their work (They’re not 1099-MISC contractors). That means you’ll need a payroll provider — consider using a free one, or one that’s low cost like Gusto (and keeps you compliant with labor law). Links are provided below.
Texas is pretty lenient with family members. It sounds like they’re helping out, and you’re paying in beer (but not keeping track of hours worked, etc. so that’s a bit less risky).
Since the questions you’ve asked are legal and tax-based in nature (and we’re neither lawyers nor tax advisors), it’s best you check with your labor law attorney and/or tax accountant to make sure you’re not violating any local laws. I’ve provided some other helpful links below.
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