Guest post from a US writer regarding laws for baby-sitters.
Hiring a baby-sitter for a few nights a week is almost certain not to bring the law to your door. Hiring a full-time domestic employee that puts in more than 40 hours per week caring for your child and/or home could create quite the ordeal if you don’t mind the laws for your location. Some states allow you to hire contract labor to work at your home or business for a per-determined amount of money that could be less than minimum wage. As the person is willing to work for the amount of money and the contract is signed, there isn’t much that can be done. However, more and more states are signing laws into effect that protect domestic employees such as nannies from being mistreated and taken advantage of. Did you know that many nannies do not have access to:
1. Overtime – Many domestic employees such as nannies are denied overtime pay. As many nannies are happy to have a job given the current economy, they don’t bother with investigating the matter of overtime. They will happily accept their paycheck and continue working out of fear of losing his or her job.
2. Insurance – Contract labor and domestic employees usually don’t have access to insurance policies. As laws don’t make headline news most of the time, nannies and other domestic employees don’t know what their rights are in regards to injuries suffered while working. However, there are several states that have made workers compensation insurance mandatory for domestic employees including nannies.
3. Vacation/Sick Leave – For many nannies, being sick means you’re out that day for pay. As many contract labor and domestic employees don’t have access to sick leave or vacation time, they simply have to work as often as they can for the money. A nanny working while sick can cause detrimental effects on the worker, the child they are caring for, and could impair judgment. Several states are putting the well-being of everyone involved first and foremost by signing laws into effect to prevent sickly situations such as these.
4. Guaranteed Days Off – There are hundreds of nannies who work a seven-day week without access to time off. Although some of these nannies love their job and are happy to work every day, there is something to be said about personal time and inner reflection outside of the workplace. It is a way that we can recharge our batteries and prepare for another week of work without climbing on top of a water-tower with a rifle. Pushing people too far in the workplace could cause severe repercussions that you simply don’t want in the home.
5. Under-the-Table – A very large portion of those who hire a nanny do so under-the-table. This off-the-books pay can be beneficial to employer and employee, to an extent. Since there is no proof of income, there are no taxes. However, the nanny doesn’t have access to unemployment benefits should something happen without proof of income.
If you’re a working nanny, you should investigate your state’s laws regarding the work you perform. It could be that your employer is breaking the law and owes you back-pay. If you’re an employer, you should investigate the laws of your area to protect yourself from monetary damages that you could be responsible for.
Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny, www.enannysource.com/ etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @ gmail.com.