Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can Nannies that Break the Law Expect to Be Protected by Labor Laws?

Nannies That Don't Pay Taxes Won't Likely Benefit From Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

In 2010 New York passed the first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and since then more states have Domestic Workers Bills pending. There have been very passionate debates on social media about the proposed legislation and I have written dozens of articles on the topic already.

Kathy Webb of has been keeping us updated on the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights throughout the United States and has prepared a quick comparison of the various Domestic Workers Bills that nannies, parents that employ nannies, nanny agencies, and nanny industry businesses should be aware of.

There is much to support in Domestic Workers Bills of Rights. We all know of the stories of mistreated nannies and we all want domestic workers to be treated fairly. The intention of the legislation is to help employees that work in private homes. But, there are also still some very real concerns about sections of the proposed legislation, especially how to compensate domestic workers for lunch breaks.

But, until nannies refuse to participate in the underground economy of tax evasion (often called Nannygate) they cannot expect to be protected by any legislation. When nannies are paid in cash and don't pay taxes, both the parents and the employees are engaging in illegal activity. It's not likely that nannies breaking the law by not paying taxes would sue their employers and expose their crime.

I applaud the authors and supporters of the Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights and understand the concerns of those who oppose the legislation. But, there may be little impact for domestic workers until the estimated 80- to 90-percent of nannies that don't pay taxes demand to be paid legally.

Would you support similar bills in the state you live in?

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