Why the Proposed New York Nanny Law is a Bad Idea.

by Fred Abramson on June 3, 2010 · 2 comments

Zoe Baird watch out.  If you employ a Nanny, even one who is here illegally, a new proposed New York Law is in the works that will place new burdens on their employers. The State Senate passed a bill last week that would protect Nannies. According the New York Times, this law is likely to be passed into law.

The new law will require the following:

  1. Paid holidays, sick days and vacation days for domestic workers, along with overtime wages.
  2. It would require 14 days’ notice, or termination pay, before firing a domestic worker.

The law would cover citizens, legal immigrants and those here illegally as well.  It seems highly unlikely that those who are here illegally would make complaints to the Department of Labor for workplace violations.

This bill is a bad idea.  The reality is that many working parents cannot afford a Nanny and pay her(always a women) taxes, workers compensation and overtime wages.  My estimate is that the cost of  Nanny would skyrocket to the $35,000.00 a  year. Many families may decide to lay off their Nannies and let the parent who makes less money stay at home.  Other families may decide to let their homes go into foreclosure.

There is a whole underground economy when it comes to domestic workers that benefits the workers as well. A brief sample of acquaintances who currently employee  Nannies in the New York metropolitan area revealed that the average wage for a Nanny who is in the United States illegally is about $500.00 a week. Since they don’t pay taxes their earning power is up to a third more.  Nannies are not regulated. There is no certification process and a criminal check is often impossible.

For this bill to work, the legislature should increase the child care tax credit to $10,000.00 a year per child.  In addition, Nannies who have been here for 2 years should be given a path to citizenship. What do you think?

FYI, my kids are in daycare.

If you have a question about labor and employment law, contact me at the Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson at 212-233-0666.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

ApostrophiesRUs June 7, 2010 at 2:19 pm

The plural of Nanny is Nannies, not Nanny's. Nanny's is the possessive form.

kristamacdonald June 12, 2010 at 12:52 am

First of all you should put your post through grammar check. There are far too many errors in there for a lawyer.
Second your content-
skyrocket to $35,000 a year?? In what world is it okay to expect someone to raise your children for less then this?
Always women?? What sexist world do you live in?
If working parents can not afford a nanny then they should not have one. If they can not afford to pay a nanny a livable wage and treat them with respect and dignity and include them as a part of the family- then again- don't have one. That is what day care is for. After the first 5 years you shouldn't need one anyway- they enter the school system and most have after school programs.
It is insulting to suggest that families would lose their house because their nanny would get sick days or over time pay. It goes back to the idea that if you can not afford to have a nanny then don't have one. It is a human who comes into your home and lovingly cares for what should be the most precious thing in your life. If you don't want to pay them what they should be paid then you won't get a decent nanny.
$500 a week for one on one care for your children is not that bad. Lets keep in mind that these nannies (not all women) are people. With lives outside of the home they work in. With needs and the ability to get sick, have emergencies and hell they have bills to pay too!

Sure many are paid off the books. But heads of companies all over, or senators or other rich people who sit on millions of dollars- take things for free that should be taxed. And that is usually more then $500 or sometimes $35,000 a year!

With that said- I think it is a bad idea. I feel that it will place un-needed strain on BOTH parents and nannies. Parents will worry about the money factor- paying out more hourly to make the nanny want to stay. Getting caught if they are off the books. And for nannies- the concern that they may lose their job as their employers try to find someone they can pay less in order for the cash to balance. It will drive down wages of nannies not force them up.

Also- it seems to me that this is another way for insure more tax flow to the government and to try and draw out illegal workers. Just leave nannies and the generations they are raising alone!

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