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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