The short answer is yes. Domestic employees, such as nannies, household assistants, and elder care providers are hourly employees under the law, and therefore must be paid overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides the framework to determine weekly overtime requirements for household workers. Some states also have laws requiring daily overtime. It is important to understand all applicable rules to determine when overtime pay is due.
Understanding FLSA Overtime for Domestic Employees
The FLSA is a federal law that sets the standards for minimum wage and overtime pay in the United States, including work performed in a domestic setting. According to the FLSA, any employee who works more than 40 hours in a workweek is entitled to receive overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times their regular hourly wage.
Live-Out Domestic Workers
Live-out domestic employees commute to and from work and may work varying hours during the week. For these workers, the standard FLSA overtime rules apply. Any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek must be compensated at a rate of one and a half times their regular hourly wage. However, state laws for live-out employees may require daily overtime pay, in addition to the federal FLSA requirements.
Live-In Domestic Workers
Live-in domestic workers, on the other hand, have a unique work arrangement. They reside at their place of employment as a requirement of their position and are on duty for extended periods. The FLSA, does not require employers to pay overtime in the case of live-in domestic workers, but does lay out requirements for meal and rest breaks, as well as sleep time. Some states however do require overtime to be paid to live-in employees. Remember you must follow state and federal laws with regards to overtime compensation.
Additional State Laws
It's important to note that while FLSA provides a federal framework for overtime regulations, some states have additional labor laws domestic employers and employees should be aware of. California, Colorado, and New York, for instance, have state-specific laws which further govern overtime for domestic workers.
In California, domestic workers classified as personal attendants are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than nine hours in a day. Other domestic workers in California are paid overtime after only 8 hours per day, so it is important to determine which classification is correct for your employment situation. In Colorado, the threshold is higher, at 12 hours in a day, and does not differentiate between different types of domestic workers. New York, on the other hand, follows federal FLSA requirements for live-out domestic employees after 40 hours in a week, but does require overtime for live-in employees, once they reach 44 hours.
As you can see, determining when to pay your employee overtime can be complicated, and it's essential to be aware of the specific regulations in your state.
The FLSA sets the federal baseline, but state laws can add complexity to the mix. Employers and employees should always be informed and aware of their rights and responsibilities to ensure fair and legal compensation in the ever-evolving landscape of domestic employment.
If you have questions, HomeWork Solutions can help. Our knowledgeable staff would be happy to speak with you about your specific tax, payroll, and labor law responsibilities. We are open Monday through Friday 8:30am – 7pm ET, and welcome your call.