For the purposes of this article, we are discussing the question of compensation. Once we have answered the question as to whether there is an "employer-employee," relationship, or an "independent contractor," relationship, we can determine whether there are applicable laws related to compensation. This question was posed in S. G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v Dept. of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341, and is now utilized as precedent in determining whether a said individual is an employee, or independent contractor.
In this particular case, the issue before the court was whether a group of farm laborers were operating under the control of the direct managers and owners of the farm, thereby entitled to workers compensation, or as independent contractors, dictating the method of how the job was to be accomplished, but not the end result of the job. The court concluded, based upon the facts of the case, that the farm laborers were consistently directed as to the method of production and work. This, in turn, classified them as employees, rather than independent contractors, and entitled to worker's compensation under the law of California.
In an employee-employer relationship, there are federal and minimum wage laws that dictate an employee's minimum compensation. Therefore, if an employee gives food to an employee in lieu of a wage, the employer has violated minimum wage laws, as no monetary compensation was forthcoming. Conversely, if the principal enters into a contractual agreement with the independent contractor in a type of, "will work for food," agreement, then this type of contract satisfies the necessary elements with the state of California pertaining to "a specified recompense."