California wage and hour: Overtime approved for nannies

Many domestic workers had been legally denied overtime, but a new law recently passed is meant to correct that problem. There were some household workers who were already being paid overtime under state law, but those laws didn't extend to anyone who takes care of others more than 80 percent of their working hours. The new California wage and hour law attempts to correct that problem by requiring time-and-a-half for any domestic worker that has worked more than nine hours and 45 minutes in any given day, or that has worked more than 45 hours a week.

This new law extends to nannies, maids, housekeepers and personal attendants. According to the California legislator who authored the new law, many of these workers are immigrants or people of color, and their work wasn't given the respect it deserves. Skeptics believe that the new law could cause people to lose their jobs due to the additional expense.

This may be the reason that the California legislature included a sunset clause for this law. The law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, but will expire in 2017 if it is not renewed. This law extends protections under federal law that were recently instituted providing home health care workers be paid minimum wage and be paid overtime pay for any hours over 40 per week.

People who work in our homes such as nannies, maids and personal assistants work hard to take care of their employers and their families. This new law is another step in ensuring those workers are paid for the time they put into their jobs. Domestic workers who do not believe they are being properly paid under either federal or state wage and hour laws have the right to file a complaint in order to recover the amounts they weren't paid.

Source: Reuters, Nannies to get overtime under new California law, Sharon Bernstein, Sept. 26, 2013

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