Hourly Wages Are Not for Everyone

A campground owner emailed this week reminding me that not all business owners are required to pay their employees at least the minimum wage.

She also said that some workcampers do not want an hourly wage as it interferes with their social security, disability, or other monthly checks.

I'm sharing her comments here to give both campground owners and workcampers a chance to respond to her remarks.


Comments on the need to pay, and the desire to receive, an hourly wage:

Comments for Hourly Wages Are Not for Everyone

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The Law

Last I looked, it was the law.

Will be looking into this!

Hourly Wage

First of all, if you are collecting state disability, you have no business working, period. You are receiving benefits because you can't work. And if you receive SS, you can indeed still work and get hourly pay. It's just one more excuse not to pay people a decent wage.

I was quite pleased to see 3 RV resorts stop hiring work campers and hiring employees. This makes for better compensation, etc. This is not an easy job, and if you work outside at a larger resort you are busting your behind.

Get paid what you're worth and if you are legally not supposed to be working, well then, don't. Let us that aren't old enough for SS make some money to live on. All work campers aren't over 65.

We Still Need to Eat

While we may work for a site, we still need $ for food & fuel. Not all of those who "retire" on SS
did it because we wanted to. The present economy is not as good as it could be. When you work all your life & then face a major "downturn" thru no fault of your own, life is not always easy.

Work for FHU Plus $$?

If an employer does not want to pay his/her workamper employees, then they should only be working 10-15 hours per week. (The number of hours worked at the hourly wage needed to pay the monthly lot rent). Any hours after that should be paid. If you're happy to work just for your space, watch the number of hours that you work so that you won't be taken advantage of. If you want to be paid, the above circumstances aren't for you.

Min Wage

Jobs where employers are not required to pay minimum wage are very restricted by federal law and are mostly those jobs where the bulk of the pay is either in tips (waiter/waitress) or in commissions (sales). Other than those exceptions, I do not believe it is legal to pay less than minimum wage. I know a lot of campgrounds and resorts get around this by inflating the value of the site given to the work camper, i.e. they require 40 hours/wk. work for a site they say is worth $320/wk. = $8/hour. In fact, they sell that site to the public for $210/wk., making the pay actually $5.20/hr., which is less than minimum wage.

When I run into these situations, I will offer to pay for the site the same as the public does and require pay for all hours worked. By the way, many of the work camper sites are in less desirable ares of a park, so buying your site can even get you a better site.


Working for Camp Site without Wages

My wife and I are currently working for our camp site two days a week. A usual work day is 8 to 9 hours, but some times is more depending on when the grass needs to be mowed and weeds wacked. I have worked more than two days in the past but most of the time it is only two days. We get a FHU site, cable WiFi, and laundry for our two days.

A lot of campgrounds or RV Parks pay between $7 to $8 an hour for each person, plus camp site with cable, WiFi, and some other benefits. However, there are far more that don't pay a salary at all. Some require workamers work up to 30 or more hours per week for a camp site. After the hours worked for a camp site, then the workampers are paid for extra hours worked.

Workampers must decide if just working for a camp site is worth the work required. My wife and I have worked at campgrounds where we were required to work up to 20 hours a week for our camp site with other benefits. However, we have determined that we are paying more for our camp site than people who just stay at the park and pay for their site.

Another thing to consider is that when you work for a camp site with or without benefits, you are saving the cost of a monthly fee for a camp site plus electricity (however, some places require you to pay for the electricity).

My wife and I prefer to work for hourly wages plus a camp site for all hours worked instead of just for a camp site.

The choice is always up to workampers on whether they work for just a camp site or for a camp site with wages.

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