Monday

Discuss

Foes Line Up to Oppose Nanny Bill of Rights
On June 1, the NY State Senate passed a measure guaranteeing nannies and other household employees protections like one day off a week, paid overtime past 40 hours a week, six paid holidays, seven sick days, and five vacation days per year, and a fourteen-day notice of termination. NY's Governor Paterson has vowed to sign it.

What do you think?

19 comments:

CuriousDad said...

Several thoughts come up when I read this.

None of this would be nessecary if Nannies would refuse to work for salary and Employers would obey the law.

Then again since enough of neither are doing so, I doubt this has much teeth. Those who are willing to wrok under the table will continue to do so. Those who are willing to pay them a pittance and get away with it will do so.

A few will stop paying their nanny and pay for a baby sitter or a day care center instead. I can see the potential for a rise in Nanny shares and Co-ops.

blue blanket said...

I like it. To have something to point to as an example might help nannies across the country.

However, I think the overtime provision is a little silly at forty hours. Nannies by design cover for the parents and most parents are already working a forty hour week.

Parents can't instantly teleport home. Ergo, a normal work week for a nanny has to be greater than forty hours else it just doesn't make sense otherwise.

It'd be better to set the overtime start point at 45 or 50 in recognition of this reality.

A nanny who agrees!!! said...

I would like to see this in other states, too. I think it is important for nannies to have some sort of vacation/ days off. Nannies have emergencies/ family takes a vacation (most of time leaving nanny high and dry- without pay) or gets sick. It is nice that nanny has something to rely on; just as long as they are honest and speak with the family in advanced.

Bostonnanny said...

I do think this is a great law, however what will most likely happen is more parents will pay under the table to get away from all the benefits. I can also see more parents using two babysitters instead at part time so they avoid providing vacation,sick days etc.
I'm not saying all parents are like this but those who just want cheap care with no hassels will find a way around it. Basically it is up to us professional nannies to force our career back up to the professional status it once was. We need to demand these rights and not work for anything less.

Bostonnanny said...

I do think this is a great law, however what will most likely happen is more parents will pay under the table to get away from all the benefits. I can also see more parents using two babysitters instead at part time so they avoid providing vacation,sick days etc.
I'm not saying all parents are like this but those who just want cheap care with no hassels will find a way around it. Basically it is up to us professional nannies to force our career back up to the professional status it once was. We need to demand these rights and not work for anything less.

won't work said...

I agree with CD: this law will do nothing except create more law breakers. Too many parents are going to take advantage of the recession and the bad job market and pay under the table.

BURNTOUTNANNY said...

legally they are supposed to pay overtime over 40 hours for live outs,in ny state for live ins are supposed to be paid overtime only if they make min wage. I reported the last family I worked for who took advantage of me and was told this was the #1 enforcement and the parents know the rules and they just try and get away with it
I think parents who behave like this are horrible and probally dont care about their children

lynn said...

I'm assuming the 14 day termination is if you are laying your nanny off. If I'm firing someone for just cause, I'm not giving them any notice or severance pay.

Frankly, this law is useless - but if it makes people feel better, fine. Of course the Gov is going to sign it - because it is impossible to enforce - so who cares? How many people work as nannies and don't pay taxes on their income? Why not pass a law there? Oh yeah, there already is a law about that!

Fawn said...

We wouldn't need laws like this if nannies would advocate for themselves and arrange contracts with their families that give them days off/fair pay, etc.

When I interview with families I will only seriously consider ones who will pay their half of my taxes, unemployment, and worker's compensation. Also provided would be sick days/vacation time/severance package. It's amazing how many families are willing to provide this type of an agreement for nannies who demand it! They seem to hold a level of respect for me when I ask to be paid "above the table."

No matter what the law changes to (illegal) nannies and families will always find a way to get around the law - it's call paying "under the table." duh.

the more things change said...

Good employers are already providing reasonable benefits for their nannies- maybe not exactly what is outlined in this bill, but what works for them and what hopefully works for their nannies. As a nanny, you can stick this to your employer and say "The law says I get..." but the nature of the nanny/employer relationship is such that it's still going to be incredibly awkward and risky for nanny to do this.

cali mom said...

Is it only domestic employees in NY who are guaranteed these rights? Because in CA, nobody is guaranteed ANY of this stuff (except the OT pay after 40 hours).

nycmom said...

I think the law is good in theory, but I don't think it will result in any appreciable benefit to nannies. The benefits offered are actually less than standard NYC benefits IME. I find it odd that the 6 holidays include MLK, but exclude Memorial Day. To answer someone above, no you do NOT have to pay severance if firing for cause (assault, abuse, neglect, theft, destruction of property) though in the Senate bill the burden of proof is on the employer.


I also don't think the OT over 40 hours changes anything, since that is already the law. Although most families stucture the pay as a weekly salary so perhaps they will instead structure it as an hourly pay to net out to the same salary. However, I think this may hurt nannies not help because there will now be a strong incentive for parents to avoid overtime. For example, previously Nanny was getting $660/week for average 50 hours. Now families will pay $12/hr x 40 hrs ($480) + $18/hr x 10hrs ($180). But in many cases parents may be able to juggle schedules to get the overtime down even from 10 to 5 hours and the nanny's salary will then drop to $570. Not sure of the legality of guaranteed overtime hours - i.e. is it legal for a nanny to insist that parents guarantee 10 hours of OT a week? I do think overtime above 8 hours a day is kind of silly as someone above suggested. Simply not possible for two working parents in most cases.

In case anyway is curious, here is a link to the actual bill which still has to be reconciled with the Assembly bill and signed into law.
http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=S02311&Summary=Y&Text=Y

BURNTOUTNANNY said...

when parents pay a nanny a salary instead of breaking it up, the nanny is often taken advantage of like I was this is why parents do this because if they are working 69 hours a week and have to pay a nanny 40 hours a week then 29 in overtime, that is alot to them but if they have a full time live in meaning the nanny lives in their home 7 days a week they dont get overtime you can imagine how some nannies are taken advantage of

I have been a nanny for 20 years, it is 2010 and it is expensive to have kids, if you cannot afford to have proper care for your children and bitch and moan about having to pay for a nanny, dont have any kids or put them in daycare

Pat said...

I think its about time. Too many employers want take advantage of nannies and its unfortunate. I have had people tell me that Memorial Day/ Independence Day aren't real holidays and I have had to fight for the time and a half. That should not be. You know the federal holidays, so why would you try to cheat someone else out of that? If you want to keep a good nanny be fair and pay like you should.

PT working mom said...

I very much like the idea of nanny's getting those provisions, in part or in total. Problem is, as a part-time working mom myself who employs a pt nanny, bearing the cost of these provisions might make me reconsider working all together bc it becomes financially nonsensical, unless it's for pure love of the job. It just costs so much to go to work, you have to have a fat salary to bring anything of significance home to your family as income. We've struggled with this. We'd love to extend more benefits to our nanny, but cannot afford it, especially with husband out of full-time work.

CuriousDad said...

WoW just parsed some of the legislation. Oh MY, Nannies will become only a RICH families perview, if this law is passed and actually has teeth. I will split my reasons into several posts.

First one
Excerpt from the legislation.
"1. HOURS OF LABOR FOR DOMESTIC
44 WORKERS. NO PERSON OR CORPORATION EMPLOYING A DOMESTIC WORKER AS DEFINED
45 IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE
46 SHALL REQUIRE ANY DOMESTIC WORKER TO WORK MORE THAN EIGHT HOURS IN A
47 DAY; PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT OVERTIME WORK PERFORMED BY AGREEMENT BETWEEN
48 A DOMESTIC WORKER AND HIS OR HER EMPLOYER SHALL BE AT A RATE WHICH IS AT
49 LEAST ONE AND ONE-HALF TIMES THE WORKER'S NORMAL HOURLY RATE."

This means that the Nanny can only work more then 8 hours if they have a contract that says they have to and they MUST get paid at least time and a half for the time over 8 hours. Not just over 40 hours. Wording like that is usually only found in very strongly held union controled shops.

CuriousDad said...

Second point:

"PAID TIME OFF. (A) A DOMESTIC WORKER WHOSE REGULAR WORK SCHEDULE
2 FOR A GIVEN EMPLOYER IS AT LEAST TWENTY HOURS A WEEK SHALL BE ENTITLED
3 TO PAID TIME OFF ON THE FOLLOWING HOLIDAYS:
4 (1) NEW YEAR'S DAY;
5 (2) MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.'S BIRTHDAY;
6 (3) INDEPENDENCE DAY;
7 (4) THANKSGIVING;
8 (5) LABOR DAY;
9 (6) CHRISTMAS DAY.
10 (B) NO DOMESTIC WORKER WHOSE REGULAR WORK SCHEDULE FOR A GIVEN EMPLOY-
11 ER IS AT LEAST TWENTY HOURS PER WEEK SHALL BE REQUIRED TO WORK ON A
12 HOLIDAY."

You cannot schedule the Nanny to work a Holiday??? I dont know a single company that has this over their head. While some companies will give those days off and close down, many do not. Holiday pay is usually calculated as if the person worked that day, so it is included in overtime calculations of more then 40 hours of work in a pay week.

CuriousDad said...

Third point:

"TERMINATION AND SEVERANCE. (A) A DOMESTIC WORKER IS ENTITLED TO
34 WRITTEN NOTICE OF TERMINATION FOURTEEN DAYS BEFORE HIS OR HER FINAL DAY
35 OF EMPLOYMENT. AN EMPLOYER WHO FAILS TO GIVE NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY THIS
36 ARTICLE IS LIABLE TO EACH EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO NOTICE WHO LOST HIS OR
37 HER EMPLOYMENT FOR:
38 (I) BACK PAY FOR THE PERIOD IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO
39 NOTICE AT THE AVERAGE REGULAR RATE OF COMPENSATION RECEIVED BY THE
40 EMPLOYEE DURING THE LAST THREE YEARS OF HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT, OR THE
41 EMPLOYEE'S FINAL RATE OF COMPENSATION, WHICHEVER IS HIGHER.
42 (II) THE VALUE OF THE COST OF ANY BENEFITS TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD
43 HAVE BEEN ENTITLED DURING THE PERIOD IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED
44 TO NOTICE."

Ok, a bit of a translation you must give 14 days notice before terminating your nanny. If you and your nanny do not get along, you cannot just fire them, even if they are a raging lunatic and are drinking excessively. You must give notice.

As the following says. The only way around this is if that the employer can PROVE the nanny was up to SOMETHING.

"NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE, NO EMPLOYER
46 SHALL BE LIABLE FOR FAILURE TO PROVIDE NOTICE OF TERMINATION.
47 (I) TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS CONVICTED OF COMMITTING AN UNLAWFUL ACT OF
48 THEFT OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY; OR
49 (II) WHEN THE EMPLOYER HAS A REASONABLE GOOD FAITH BELIEF THAT THE
50 EMPLOYEE HAS COMMITTED ASSAULT, NEGLECT OR ABUSE IN THE WORKPLACE. IN
51 SUCH A CASE, THE EMPLOYER SHALL HAVE THE BURDEN OF SHOWING SUCH AN ACT.
52 (C) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE, THE REMEDIES
53 PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN OF THIS
54 ARTICLE SHALL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO AN EMPLOYER'S FAILURE TO PROVIDE
55 NOTICE OF TERMINATION."

A screaming match with the Nanny in your own home were the nanny in questions threatens you and you say your fired. Is not covered by this exception. Unless you can PROVE the nanny made the statement in question. Note that recording other people without their expressed concent is illegal in many states, excepting certain narrowly defined conditions.

CuriousDad said...

I do not think nannies need more laws to protect them. What they need are the laws in place to be ENFORCED.

While the benefit requirements are nice this will cause probably three problems for nannies.

1: The retail chains answer to such laws. Less then 20 hour work weeks, part time nannies having to go from employer to employer to get a full weeks pay.

Families who would normally opt for a nanny will have to find other alternatives. As they will not be able to afford the benefits package. Less nanny jobs.

Title change, you are no longer the nanny. You are the baby sitter.