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Nanny Overtime: Just the Facts

Posted by HomeWork Solutions on 2/12/15 7:00 AM

There’s all kinds of advice floating around out there about how to handle a nanny’s wages. Here, we’ve included only the facts on nannies and overtime:

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Topics: nanny hourly wage, nanny non-exempt employee, nanny overtime, nanny work agreement, nanny contract

Nanny Taxes - Answering Common Questions about Classification

Posted by Vanessa Vidal, FPC on 5/20/13 11:38 AM

HomeWork Solutions is a leading national nanny/household employee payroll and tax company. We work with thousands of families, and hear and respond to the same questions/concerns over and over again.  We want to take the opportunity to share this information with you through this easy to follow Q. and A.

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Topics: babysitter nanny tax, worker misclassification independent contractor, domestic employer legal responsibilities, nanny non-exempt employee, nanny independent contractor, nanny tax compliance, nanny job description

NYTimes Article Confuses Household Workers' Rights

Posted by Kathy Webb on 11/27/12 5:25 PM

Household employees - nannies, maids and housekeepers - and the families that employ them often don't understand how payroll tax, labor law, and the unemployment insurance system apply to this particular employment situation.

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Topics: domestic employer legal responsibilities, nanny non-exempt employee, nanny overtime

2012 Nanny Payroll Calculator and Minimum Wage Updates

Posted by Kathy Webb on 1/5/12 8:39 AM

Are you ready to compute your 2012 payroll?

The 4nannytaxes.com household payroll calculator has been updated with new withholding tax rates for 2012. Clients who write their own paychecks, please confirm your withholding calculations before issuing any 2012 payroll as there are many income tax rate changes!

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Topics: nanny hourly wage, calculate nanny payroll tax, nanny non-exempt employee, new york household employment, california household employment

IRS and DOL Worker Misclassification Enforcement Steps Up

Posted by HomeWork Solutions on 10/19/11 1:37 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 6/19/11 8:40 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

Nanny Employers Note: Payroll Fraud Prevention Act

Posted by HomeWork Solutions on 5/2/11 8:16 AM

US Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced S.770 - Payroll Fraud Prevention Act. The bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) to ensure that employees are not misclassified as non-employees, and impose substantial penalties on employers who are found to have classified bona fide employees as independent contractors for purposes of avoiding payroll taxes. The bill is referred to the Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

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Topics: nanny hourly wage, nanny non-exempt employee, nanny overtime, nanny independent contractor

Nanny Awarded $30K Unpaid Overtime

Posted by Kathy Webb on 1/22/11 11:18 AM

Actor Robert DeNiro and wife Grace Hightower settled a longstanding legal dispute with their former nanny, who sued for unpaid overtime and holiday pay. Barry's original court filing in Manhattan in 2009 sought $40,000 in unpaid wages. The $30,000 settlement, agreed to by all parties, represents unpaid overtime alleged to total 750 hours and holiday pay for a 9 month period of employment from 2006 - 2007.

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Topics: nanny hourly wage, nanny non-exempt employee, nanny overtime

Caution: Carefully Word Your Nanny Work Agreement

Posted by HomeWork Solutions on 1/9/11 10:04 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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