What You Need To Know When Hiring a Domestic Worker – AB 241

Photo by: Mikael Kristenson

Photo by: Mikael Kristenson

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had many conversations with members of the “sandwich generation” and baby boomers about the challenges they face as their parents age. The heartbreak of watching parents age and lose their independence coupled with raising their own children is stressful enough. Yet, many are now finding themselves as employers for the first time (or first time in a long time) and must navigate the complicated terrain of employment regulations.

If you are personally hiring your first live-in caregiver, here are a few basics you should know.

You must pay at least minimum wage 

As of January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in California is $10.00 per hour. Caveat: San Francisco’s minimum wage is currently $12.25 per hour and goes up to $13.00 per hour in July 1, 2016.

Domestic Workers Entitled to Overtime Pay

AB 241, also known as the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights defines a domestic worker as any person who provides services related toe the care of people in the home, or maintain private households or their premises. Domestic workers includes nannies, childcare providers, caregivers and personal attendants, housekeepers, cooks, and other household workers.

“Personal attendants” are a subset of domestic workers whose duties include supervising, feeding, and dressing a child or person who needs assistance due to advanced age, physical disability, or mental deficiency. If a domestic worker spends more than 20 percent of his or her time performing other work, he or she is not considered a personal attendant.

  • Personal attendant duties: feeding, bathing, dressing, and direct supervision of any person under their care.
  • Non-attendant duties: making beds, housecleaning, cooking, laundry, and other duties related to the maintenance of a private household or the premises.

Overtime Pay to Personal Attendants – If someone qualifies as a personal attendant, the person is entitled to overtime pay (1.5 x their regular rate of pay) for any hours worked over nine (9) hours in one day OR any hours worked over 45 hours in one week. Certain exclusions apply.

Overtime Pay to Domestic Workers Not Personal Attendants

  • Not Live-In – 1.5 x regular rate of pay for hours worked over 8 hours in one day or over 40 hours in one week. 2 x regular rate of pay for hours worked over 12 in one day or over 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day of work.
  • Live-In – 1.5 x regular rate of pay for hours worked over 9 hours in one day or up to 9 hours worked on the 6th or 7th day of the week. 2 x regular rate of pay for hours worked over 9 hours on the 6th or 7th day of the week.

Meal and Lodging Deduction for Live-In Domestic Workers

Meal and lodging credits can be applied only if the employer and employee enter into a voluntary written agreement before the work is performed.

Permissible rates effective January 1, 2016 are:

  • Lodging – $47.03 per week for a single occupancy room.
  • Meal – Breakfast: $3.62; Lunch: $4.97; Dinner: $6.68

Remember that if you are personally hiring the domestic worker or personal attendant, rather than using an agency, you are an employer and are required to comply with the various labor and employment laws such as make the appropriate payroll deductions, comply with meal and rest break regulations (for domestic workers not personal attendants), and provide accurate itemized wage statements.

If you need help navigating this complicated process, feel free to call (949) 529-0007 or e-mail me.

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In: Employment Law, Uncategorized

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