Is it Fair to Ask for More Per Hour Working on New Year’s Eve?
Andrea Flagg, professional nanny and co-founder of Nanny Alliance of New York and New Jersey http://www.nannyalliancenyandnj.com/ asked Best Nanny Newsletter http://www.bestnannynewsletter.com/ "Is it fair to ask for more than usual on New Year’s Eve?”
We believe, in the spirit of the American way (of capitalism) a nanny can charge more when her services are likely to be in higher demand, such as on holidays. Other professionals working in different occupations do it all the time. Florists charge more on Valentine's Day. But, when working for the same family, suddenly asking to change your rates can be tricky.
Nannies should first check their work agreement to see if New Year’s Eve is considered as a paid vacation day in their job contract. If they are supposed to have New Year’s Eve off then they should definitely ask for time and a half overtime pay (or even double their standard rate) since it is a holiday.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, live-out nannies must be paid at least minimum wage for the first 40 hours worked, every seven days. Then, the nanny must receive overtime pay, equal to time and a half, for any hours worked over 40 in a seven-day period. Live-out nannies working overtime on New Year’s Eve should absolutely ask for the higher pay because it is the law. Minimum wage by state is listed at this link: http://www.dol.gov/esa/minwage/america.htm
Some states require overtime pay for live-in employees as well. For example, states like New York require overtime pay after 44 hours of work per week.
According to The Legal Aid Society of San Francisco, http://www.las-elc.org/HouseholdWorkers.pdf “a live-in employee who works more than nine consecutive hours in a day must be paid overtime (time and a half) for the hours over nine because the employee wasn’t given three hours of free time… In addition, if a live-in employee works more than five days per week, the employee must be paid overtime for all hours worked on the sixth and seventh day (time and a half for the first nine hours, and double-time thereafter.”
But, asking for a higher rate when you haven’t previously is easier said then done. Do most nannies actually ask their employers to pay time and a half overtime for higher holiday rates?
If different parents (other than the family you typically work for) ask you to work on New Year’s Eve it’s easy to simply respond, “Yes, I’d love to work for you on New Year’s Eve. I typically charge $20 per hour when asked to work on holidays like New Year’s Eve.”
It is easier to decline a different family too. If you do not want to accept the offer to work on New Year’s Eve, answer by saying, “I’m sorry I already have plans that evening.”
Many full-time nannies have New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day off as paid vacation in their work agreement.
Back in 1999 the New York Times posted this article: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C06E3DF1539F930A15751C1A96F958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all
According to the New York Times back in 1999 babysitters were earning up to $100 an hour, some $250 for five hours, with a 13-year old charging $135 per child. If sitters could earn that much nine years ago, nannies can certainly ask for more than the usual rate when working on New Year's Eve in 2008.
Do you charge more per hour for babysitting on New Year's Eve?
If so, how much more per hour do you charge over your regular babysitting rate? Respond by clicking "COMMENTS" below.