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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

Total and Partial Unemployment TPU 460.1

Board and Lodging

Board and lodging is a form of remuneration payable in a medium other than cash.

Section 926 of the Unemployment Insurance Code states:

"Except as otherwise provided in this article ‘wages’ means . . . the reasonable cash value of all remuneration payable . . . in any medium other than cash."

In addition, Sections 926-3, 4 and 5 of Title 22, specifically mentions board and lodging as taxable wages. Any wages that are taxable are automatically reportable under Code Sections 1252 and 1279. Wages under these sections of the law include both subject and nonsubject employment.

Therefore, a claimant who receives room and/or board in exchange for services performed is in receipt of wages.

In Benefit Decision 6373, the Board considered the case of a claimant who attempted to establish a valid award on the basis that she received her room and board from the hotel where she lived in exchange for doing maid work at the hotel. If the room and board were considered "wages", the claimant would have a valid award. The Board held that the room and board were wages and said:

". . . The employer-employee relationship first arose on approximately April 1, and finally terminated on September 20. The claimant was paid wages in one form or another during this period . . . A proper award could be computed by ascertaining the value of the lodging and meals furnished to the claimant during the period involved. . . "

A. Determining Value

The cash value of board and lodging is to be determined in the following order:

  1. The value stipulated in a union agreement.

    If there is a union contract that states what the value of room and board will be, this amount will be accepted.

  2. The value stipulated in a contract of employment.

    Contract of employment means that there is a formal signed agreement between the claimant and the employer which states the amount of cash value represented by the room and/or board. The amount stated in this contract will be accepted.

  3. Contract of employment means that there is a formal signed agreement between the claimant and the employer which states the amount of cash value represented by the room and/or board. The amount stated in this contract will be accepted.