Author: Lavie Margolin, Career Coach
From time to time, I hear about clients being offered work ‘off the books’ (Getting paid in cash instead of by check, with your earnings not reported to the government). Shady employers try to convince the applicant that the job is more money in your pocket. When you take a cash job, you are losing out in many ways:
1) If your job ended tomorrow, you are unlikely to qualify for unemployment as you have no proof you were employed.
2) Jobs that are off the books do not come with additional benefits such as health insurance, retirement, vacation, sick days, etc.
3) To qualify for social security, one has to have worked a certain period of time to qualify. If your job is not reported, it is not counted.
4) If you get hurt on the job or are discriminated against, you have little protection.
5) When looking to take out a loan, rent an apartment or qualify for a mortgage, you have no income to report.
6) When looking for references or employment verification for future work, your employer is unlikely to confirm your employment
Companies that pay only in cash are involved in other suspect business practices. It is illegal not to report your earnings to the IRS and could result in severe penalties. (Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert and consult the appropriate authorities for the official answers on these matters.). Working for cash is no bargain. Find a reputable employer will be the most helpful path as you continue along the road in your career development.
About the Author: Lavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach and the author of Lion Cub Job Search: Practical Job Search Assistance for Practical Job Seekers. To learn more, go to Lavie’s website, Lion Cub Job Search:www.Lioncubjobsearch.com