How To Let The Nanny Go

Posted by Vanessa Vidal, FPC on Feb 20, 2014 3:51:00 PM
Nanny jobs are not forever, and the reasons for letting your child's caregiver go vary. Often, the children grow up and your beloved family nanny is no longer needed. Perhaps the nanny has horrible work habits - always late or a frequent 'no show.' Your family and the nanny simply may not 'click.' The nanny who was a wonderful nurturer of your infant does not have the energy to deal with your demanding toddler. Whatever the reason, firing a nanny can be an uncomfortable experience for both family and nanny.
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Topics: household employee, nanny severance, nanny, nanny employee, nanny separation

Part II: Hiring a Nanny - An Industry Insider's Perspective

Posted by HomeWork Solutions on Oct 15, 2013 5:01:00 PM

(2nd in a 2 part series)    

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Topics: nanny staffing agency, nanny employee, nanny job interview

New York Household Employer: Pay Rate Notice Required January 2013

Posted by HomeWork Solutions on Dec 18, 2012 5:00:00 PM

New York State Law requires all private employers to provide written notice to employees of their rate(s) of pay and designated pay day on an annual basis. Notice must be provided between January 1 and February 2 2013. NYS' FAQ on the Wage Theft Prevention Act specifically states that an employer may not choose another time of the year to provide the notice!

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Topics: nanny payroll, domestic workers bill of rights, calculate nanny payroll tax, nanny employee, household payroll tax, new york household employment, nanny work agreement

How Can I Track My Child's Day with the Nanny?

Posted by Kathy Webb on Mar 26, 2012 8:17:00 AM

We recently posted some advice on how to choose a quality nanny referral agency. We work with agency partners nationwide to help their clients and referred private service professionals alike understand the mechanics of household payroll. Nannies from the Heartland Inc. is a well respected household staffing agency in Minneapolis, MN. Becky Kavanagh, an experienced placement counselor (with 22 years of nanny experience!) shares some of her thoughts on how parents can stay connected to their child's day.

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Topics: nanny share, nanny employment practices, nanny employee, nanny work agreement, nanny training

Court Affirms Nannies are Non-Exempt Employees Under the FLSA

Posted by Kathy Webb on Feb 13, 2012 8:29:00 AM
(Republished from January 2010)

In an incredibly interesting and complicated court case involving:

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Topics: nanny employee, nanny independent contractor

Household Employee Wage Threshold Rises to $1800

Posted by Kathleen Webb on Nov 2, 2011 2:44:00 PM

Update: In 2014, the Household Employee Wage threshold increased to $1900. This means that any household employee- such as a nanny, housekeeper or elder care worker- earning $1900 or more per year requires their employer to pay what is commonly referred to as the "nanny tax."

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Topics: nanny payroll tax, nanny tax, worker misclassification independent contractor, nanny employee, domestic employer legal responsibilities

IRS and DOL Worker Misclassification Enforcement Steps Up

Posted by HomeWork Solutions on Oct 19, 2011 1:37:00 PM

The Obama Administration has identified worker mis-classification and the resultant payroll tax avoidance - specifically misclassifying employees as independent contractors - as an enforcement priority.

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Topics: worker misclassification independent contractor, nanny employee, nanny non-exempt employee, nanny independent contractor

Smartphone App Suitable for Nannies Introduced

Posted by Kathy Webb on Jun 19, 2011 8:40:00 AM
The US Department of Labor has introduced a new spartphone "app" to help hourly employees (nannies, housekeepers, maids and other household employees are ALL hourly under the Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA]) track the hours they actually work. This is all a part of an effort to aide employees in independently tracking their work hours, independent of employer records, and will assist them in prosecuting claims for unpaid wages and unpaid overtime.

The free app is currently available for iPhone and iPod Touch. According to the US Department of Labor's press release, workers without a smartphone may access the US DOL's Wage and Hour Division's printable work hours calendar in English and Spanish to track rate of pay, work start and stop times, and arrival and departure times. The calendar also includes easy-to-understand information about workers' rights and how to file a wage violation complaint. Both the time card app and the printed forms are available here.
This is a huge advance for nannies, and an area of considerable risk for household employers. According to the US Department of Labor, these are the areas they routinely cite employers for failure to meet FLSA and other legal requirements:
  1. Failing to correctly classify non-exempt and exempt employees. This is the mistake investigators often target first. Household employees are non-exempt. This means they are required to be paid on an hourly basis, and that all household employees who do not live with their employers must be paid overtime. New York and Maryland extend overtime requirements to live in domestics - be sure you know your local rules and regulations.
  2. Failing to calculate overtime pay correctly.
  3. Misclassifying employees as independent contractors. According to the US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division [WHD], the "misclassification of employees as independent contractors is an alarming trend."

    Often, the WHD adds, "workers are deprived of overtime and minimum wages, forced to pay taxes that their employers are legally obligated to pay and left with no recourse if they are injured or discriminated against in the workplace."

    When the WHD finds cases of misclassification, it may refer the cases to state agencies and the IRS. Nannies ARE NOT independent contractors and employers who incorrectly treat them as such do so at considerable peril.
  4. Failing to pay for work during missed meal and rest periods. Wage-and-hour laws require employers to pay non-exempt employees for all time worked. Most nannies, and many household employees work without meal breaks or rest periods, and employers are required to pay for the time. If the nanny is not free to leave the premise on meal and rest periods, they must be paid. And when the extra time results in an employee putting in more than 40 hours in a workweek, the employer also owes overtime pay.
  5. Failing to pay for certain on-call time. If an employer engages an employee to wait to be put to work, the individual must be paid for the on-call time. Nannies who are required to be available during hours a child is in pre-school or in an organized activity such as sports practice session are considered on-call.
    10 Tips: Avoid Common Nanny Payroll Mistakes
  6. Failing to keep required records. Federal law requires employers to keep accurate and contemporaneous time tracking records. So if there is a dispute with an employee about hours and pay and the employer is unable to show accurately recorded time records, courts will favor the employee's claims and records. This new smartphone app makes it easy for the nanny to track work hours.
  7. Substituting comp time for overtime pay. Under federal law, compensatory time off or comp time in place of receiving overtime pay is generally only legal for government employees. Federal law generally requires that employees get paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a seven-day workweek established by the employer. (Note: Some states such as California require overtime pay for hours worked over eight in a day.)
  8. Taking unauthorized deductions from paychecks. An employer can only legally deduct from an employee's earned pay the amounts required or authorized by law (such as Social Security, income tax deductions, and court-ordered garnisheed amounts) as well as deductions authorized by the employee (such as deductions for insurance premiums and loan payments).

    Examples: A household employer cannot deduct amounts from a nanny or household employee's pay to cover damages to household property, including an auto provided for the nanny to transport the children or damage/breakage while cleaning, cooking, etc. And an employer cannot withhold a departing nanny's final paycheck as a way of collecting an amount the individual owes on a loan previously obtained from the employer -- unless the nanny has given authorization in advance.
  9. Failing to abide by state laws. States may have their own version of federal wage and hour rules. So employers need to be aware of and comply with the laws in the states where they have employees.

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Topics: worker misclassification independent contractor, nanny employee, domestic employer legal responsibilities, nanny return of family property, nanny non-exempt employee, nanny overtime

A Nanny v. Daycare Center: What is the Best Option?

Posted by Kathy Webb on Feb 14, 2011 9:12:00 AM

Nannycare is expensive, and families often wonder, shouldn't we just find a good daycare? HomeWork Solutions reached out to Marc Lenes, the owner of Wee Care Nanny Agency, a household staffing agency founded in 2001 and based in Stamford, CT to make the case for nannycare. Marc has many years of experience talking families through the various childcare options.

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Topics: nanny employment practices, nanny employee

Caution: Carefully Word Your Nanny Work Agreement

Posted by HomeWork Solutions on Jan 9, 2011 10:04:00 AM

Many families (and agencies) use nanny work agreements that cover a specific period of time, generally one year. This is NOT a good idea. In a complicated United States District Court, D. Oregon case, the court affirmed that nannies are indeed non-exempt employees and are entitled to hourly pay and overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week.  

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Topics: nanny employee, nanny non-exempt employee

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