Most people do not realize that domestic workers, such as housekeepers and nannies, are entitled to overtime pay. As employment lawyers, we regularly represent housekeepers and nannies who often work over 60 hours per week, yet are paid a fixed salary each week. When employees are paid a fixed weekly salary, they are not receiving overtime pay at one and one half (1 ½) times their regular hourly rate of pay.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees that do not live in the home with their employer family are entitled to overtime pay of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 each week. In New York, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights similarly gives domestic workers that do not live in the employer’s home the right to overtime pay after 40 hours of work in a week. These workers are also entitled to a day of rest (24 hours) every seven days, or overtime pay if they agree to work on that day, and three paid days of rest each year.
“Live-in” domestic workers are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirement. A live-in domestic worker is an employee who resides on the employer’s premises either “permanently” or for “extended periods of time.” In New York, however, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, provides that “live-in” domestic workers are entitled to overtime pay after 44 hours of work in a week.
Unlike New York, most states do not require overtime pay for “live-in” housekeepers or nannies. The few states, in addition to New York, that mandate overtime for “live-in” domestic workers are California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Oregon.
If you are a domestic worker who has a question about wage theft, or if you are an employer and are seeking guidance as to how to pay your housekeeper or nanny correctly, please call the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500 for a consultation.