Should household employers be required to offer paid benefits, overtime, and 2 weeks notice/severence pay?

Well, just last week, the New York State Senate passed a bill that would require such benefits as paid holidays, sick days, vacation days, overtime wages and either 14 days notice of termination or severance pay before families can fire their domestic employee. This bill is currently being “reconciled” against a similar bill passed last year and lawmakers expect New York Governor David Paterson to sign what is being proclaimed the nation’s first workplace protection for domestic employees. If signed, this new law is expected to affect an estimated 200,000 workers in New York, including illegal immigrants.

Is this bill long over due and should other states follow suit? What types of effects will this law have on a family’s ability to afford a nanny or domestic employee? Does your family already offer these benefits? Should workplace protection be extended to illegal immigrants? We’d love to hear thoughts from both families and nannies.

See “For Nannies, Hope for Workplace Protection” by Russ Buettner

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5 thoughts on “Should household employers be required to offer paid benefits, overtime, and 2 weeks notice/severence pay?

  1. I definitely think that nannies should be granted benefits and severance pay – we’re employees just like everyone else, and it’s not fair that we miss out on benefits simply because of our chosen profession – especially because most nannies choose this profession because they LOVE to make a difference in the lives of children. How many people in corporate America can really say that they love their job and are making a huge difference in people’s lives? On the other hand, I’m not sure how I feel about illegal immigrants getting the same benefits as everyone else…

  2. As a parent who employs a nanny, I’m OK with this passing. My nanny is an integral part of our family – we wouldn’t be able to do half the things we’re able to do if it weren’t for her. I think some people see nannies as cheap labor and treat them that way, but that isn’t a fair or accurate assessment of what MY nanny is. She works harder than half of the employees I manage!

  3. Of course they should! These families out here in New Jersey are getting away with murder hiring nannies and housekeepers and other domestic workers and not even paying taxes for them, no benefits, no paid sick days, and definitely no severance pay. They usually get paid holidays only because the parents are home during federal holidays but that is it. And a week or two paid vacation usually if it’s discussed at the interview. They work for a family for several years and can’t even get unemployment or NOTHING if that job ends they are stuck and I think it’s pathetic and ridiculous. These families out here need to get it together and start caring at least for the people that’s taking care of their children/home. The laws need to get stricter and more laws need to pass to protect these domestic workers out here.

  4. I believe a 100% that familys that hire domestic help/Nannies, Care Givers should be responsible people and give the employ benefits/sick days/vacation time…all benefits. It is sad to see how people take advantage of their caregivers, don’t they realize the importance of their role in the life of their children/ the huge responsability. How can we expect them to take these Caregivers seriously when we see the lack of intervention/participation of Parents in our schools/our childrens education.
    Caregivers/Nannies are way under paid, exploded, no benefits….this is showing Us where our Country is heading..The Laws in this Country needs to get stricter and start protecting the Employs/ the real work force, they deserve Respect, descent wages & benefits..may I say more…Domestic Workers need to be protected in every State in this Country(USA)The Abuse is everywhere !!!When is it going to Stopppp..??

  5. I hope other states follow suit! It’s a crime to be denied these benefits, especially considering how much and how hard many full time domestic employees work!! Kudos to NY for trying to change this!

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