New Nanny-Pay Legislation a “Wake-Up Call” for Working Parents

There is an article about the NY Nanny Law on the Wall Street Journal blog by Sue Shellenbarger. Click here to see the article. Click here too refer back to our article on the topic. Then answer: How do you feel about the Nanny Law?


  1. I tend to think the same as you BTBN that these are the current labor laws already so it shouldn't be a big deal for New York City families. I def. don't think it will have parents changing their childcare (such as to au pairs or sitters instead). It makes sense that in the suburbs the pay changes might make a bigger dent in a parent's pocketbook. But, most important point you make is that if the domestic working doesn't file a complaint than the law isn't even enforcable.I have a very unpopular view that illegals should be treated fairly too. I tend to think that laws should be laws for everyone. Imani O NY NY

  2. Illegals do not deserve to have labors laws to protect them. If they are here illegally they shouldn't be working taking jobs away from Americans. Period!

  3. I'm known for being very liberal and democratic, but I do not believe in this legislation at all. If illegals want US laws to work for them, then they abide by US law too. It means paid on the books and into the system, and if they don't have a visa or green card nor any desire to get one. Too bad.Our country's economy is in the pits, and I pay my taxes. I paid my dues to get where I am as a nanny through education, experience, and ethics. I am not going to feel bad about expecting others to do the same.I have to go through the awkwardness of negotiating a fair salary. I have gotten some heated comments from people who didn't want to pay me fairly and legally according to laws already on the books. Plus, just standards that other people have in their jobs. I have seen myself lose positions to people who want to cheat the systems, both parents and cheaper caregivers.It's hard sticking to one's guns, and it doesn't pay the bills. My wish is that NY Legislators would really talk to this industry and find out how we think of this bill.I am opposed to it's passage as it is written. Because it poorly written. I have emailed state senators in NY to let them know.

  4. Amen to Anonymous above!Prof'l Career Nanny of 10 yrs.+

  5. Testing and subsequent licensing requirements for nannies would help increase prestige and pay for the profession while discouraging non-legal residents.

  6. Good points by all. But there's only one new concept I haven't heard anyone talk about when talking about the nanny law and that's the point about credentials. Absolutely correct. Professionals with degrees don't have this hassle. Want to be treated with respect gain it. But at the same time, no one at all deserves to be treated like a slave. NO ONE. Wrong is wrong. I don't think the law will even affect illegals since no illegal will file a complaint because they don't want to be deported.This law is important for all of us nannies and domestics. We all deserve these simple basic labor rights. There is nothing new in this legislation! There is nothing new in these labor law legislation except validation for exploited workers!!

  7. You guy's rhetoric about illegals is ridiculous. That's not what the law is about. You are going off on a tangent.The nanny law requires time and a half pay for domestic employees working more than 40 hours in a 7 day period, this law already exists. “Under the Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA ), nonexempt employees are to be paid 1 ½ times their salary beyond 40 hours per week, and domestic workers are nonexempt. Although this law is already in existence, it has not always been consistently enforced.”Giving two weeks notice is normal labor law. There's nothing new here.

  8. You are all right. Illegals can't DEMAND rights but we are all human and deserve respectful treatment. And this law probably won't be a big deal for many parents and nannies but it's symbolic for equal treatment for domestic workers.

  9. This law is for the immigrants and illegals (okay minorities), in doing research behind this law (which I've done) it's not about the American citizen nanny who has paid attention to the standards put forth by our industry, the INA, the NANC, the APNA, and on and on.This legislation is appearing oblivious to federal and state labor laws on the books already, it's not tuning into immigration issues, and the IRS.Do I doubt there are exploited nannies out there, including those authorized to work here. Yes, I have been in those situations myself. But that's when you learning assertiveness, and to say NO and mean it, then realize the law is on our side, and has been for some time. Plus there are other sectors/careers out there that don't even have some of these new rights in this bill.Yes Fiona, it's good to bring up credentialing. Of course it seems like I am doing that in every other post that I write about between here and FB. 🙂 I'm sure people think I'm a broken record on that topic. BUT, yes credentialing and licensing could make things a lot better for our work environments too.(And why is my word verification for this post clown, that is so wrong.)

  10. I am a mom with a nanny in manhattan and in my gut this is the right thing to do. I was looking at Domestic Workers United and I look around my neighborhood. American citizens who work as domestics are just as taken advantage of as illegals. I understand the uproar about illegals having rights. But American's deserve these rights and deserve this law. We allow au pairs more rights than many American nannies and housekeepers. There are plenty of American domestics that will benefit from such laws.

  11. I don’t see the proposed legislation unreasonable. I think citizens deserve this legislation. It actually simplifies the contract between the family and the caregiver. You know what to expect and so do they. For people who find this unreasonable, you might have to ask yourself why you chose a nanny in the first place. Treat others as you would like to be treated is all this legislaton is trying to force parents to consider. It's terrible we have to legislate the principles we all try to teach our kids from the time they are toddlers. I think making parents pay even illegals would actually help American nannies because if you have a choice between legal or illegal for same hours and price parents will hire the legal option so not to risk breaking the law.

  12. I've never going to say it's not unreasonable to have labor laws and standards. Yes, as tax paying citizens we have rights to legislation. Given there is people who exploit others in third world countries and get them past our borders to work as slave type labor is heinous and those people should have protection.Yes, I choose to be a nanny. But I don't find it unreasonable to educate myself about the laws, regulations, and rules in our country. That is my responsibility to myself. And, this should be the responsibility of every person who wants to be nanny. KNOW how to take care of your own future before taking on caring for the children of our nation, because when you do the former the latter does become easier.Christine, I agree with the comment you make that this legislation could make parents choose between legal and illegal since pay becomes more equal…I stated similar things in other forums too.I have looked at this issue inside out and upside down for weeks, and I don't even live in NY. But I'm doing it because it could set a precedent for the nation. And immigration is such a hot topic now across the country. Being in DC has been great in that so many of the parents here do abide by the laws in place because they work for the federal government and want to stay working for the government so heaven forbid they were ever busted for paying illegally their nannies and domestic staff. It's too bad this mindset isn't in the rest of the nation when there is no excuse for it not to be.I have been thinking about the Manhattan Mom's comments about observing American citizens taken advantage of as much as the illegals. — This also makes a case for licensing/credentialing/certifying nannies in our country.So many women become nannies right out of high school, I know I was one of them before I went off to college. And, many of our highschools may train people for different trades including some child development and home economics. But what so often is not discussed is labor laws, credit histories, ways to fill out tax forms, having job descriptions and work agreements. Creating resumes and portfolios. Having a resource library.Yes there is information on this stuff out there now on websites, but when I began in this field the internet did not exist. I didn't get all the details about these things until my younger sister completed her associate's degree in Child Development where she had a class in all of this in preparation to become a nanny.I can say even in college I didn't have classes in all this stuff either. (granted my major was something else)At this time I believe there needs to be a real call to action among our nation's nanny industry. Yes we have websites now that provide articles and information on being treated fairly and legally at the work place. We have lists of organizations and associations for nannies to become affiliated with made public. There are discussion boards and blogs. But I think we have to take things a few steps further with legitimizing this industry through having a license perhaps tiers or levels. One that requires us not just to be trained and knowledgeable in child development with ongoing training, but to know laws that pertain to us and abide by them, to make it clear not just anybody can have the job title nanny, to provide documentation that proves training including CPR, First Aid, Water Safety, and coursework. And to show proof that you are able to work in this country legally whether because you are a citizen or have the visa/green card. There are parents out there who want the legitimate caregivers and want to pay on the books. Asking for a little license takes a big burden off of them to with their accountants, the government, etc.

  13. I think this law is a step in that direction Lisa. I don't disagree with anything you say except that I think this law is a step in the RIGHT direction. I see it as legitmizing the industry, including American citizens. At the very least it's getting parents to think. If these discussions and the law make parents provide some basic labor rights because they don't want to break a law this is a good thing for their employees. For nannies: How many of you have this Monday off paid for the 4th of July? Have any of you been laid off without pay? Do you work 60 hours per week with no overtime?If you answered yes, this law will help you.

  14. Interesting.I had the conversation about 4th of July off last year with a nanny who is affiliated with all the organizations, etc. and I would think would be in the know.She said, "You were paid."I was like, "Yeah, I've always been paid for it. Why don't you know to it's discussed in so many places?"It baffled me. I could understand a newbie, but… And yes my early bosses were ethical people who set standards with me so that helped a lot. This is all the stuff to talk about in having a nanny contract.Kathy Webb wrote this great article on this topic in her blog she also has posted this linkThe IRS is Cracking Down on Employers Hiring Nannies, Home Care Workers and Those Being Paid Off The Books is power. And nannies need to gain it in order for any legislation to work for them.We have this powerful tool in the internet. In so many ways I can't imagine being in this industry anymore without it. It's integral to the logo I used to brand myself. All my jobs literally in the past 16 years have originated because of it (long story.) I have used it to create lessons and themes, to correspond with my employers, to network with nannies, and to look up things related to the business side of our profession.We have to embrace and own laws, standards, and principles. It begins with our own efforts to educate ourselves on what it means to be a nanny.

  15. I work in ny and we were talking about this at the pool today. We are all born here american citizens but also minorities (Lisa) and one of our friends is paid very low and has just a terrible contract. The mother decides when she works. First she goes in the morning makes kids breakfast then off and not paid, thought she was due back at work at 11am mom texted her not until 1pm instead and then when I got back mom texted make it 4:30. ??? So she lost 3 hours of pay at the mom's indecision and this is a live in nanny.Telling nannies they should advocate and negotiate for themselves is exactly what this law is about. Domestics making a low stating what labor rights are. I am glad. Teachers used to be paid nothing at all. Fighting hard with their unions has given them higher pay. Once one district's teachers pay got higher salaries they slowly all started to earn higher salaries. For the 9 or so American NY nannies of color at the pool today we think the law is great.

  16. Did all of you discuss with your friend the need to put her ducks in a row and either end the job, and suggest she research what a better contract can look like? I have it in mine, that I will get 40 hours a week minimum whether the parents use me or not. I have had contracts like this for some time, and yes I am a live in.For the record, a neighbor live in nanny of color who I know well has her contract set up the same way. We did our homework on this matter when we were negotiating in the hiring process.We didn't need this law to tell us to fight for our rights, standards already in place did. Why does this law make it magically different now when all the previous ones didn't?

  17. And a follow up question, if I may? The big what if?Suppose something happens where it doesn't get signed? That's happened before.

  18. Why would veteran nannies wish the struggle they had on new nannies? Why should young nannies have to experience low pay, bad work, no benefits just because you did? Why not have the law to protect them and allow them a better life than you had? What if Lisa is nothing. Or, if parents heard of the legislation then great make them think.I don't think it makes sense for nannies to wish on other nannies to learn how to negotiate better when they could have a law to help them.

  19. .Domestic workers were initially excluded from minimum wage laws passed in 1937, and that’s probably a big reason for their higher prevalence in even middle/upper-middle class families. From NY Mag’s article on this topic–Throughout history, politicians have excluded domestic workers from federal and state labor laws. President Roosevelt’s federal minimum-wage proposal in 1937 sparked ads in magazines: “Housewives beware! If the Wages and Hours Bill goes through, you will have to pay your Negro girl eleven dollars a week.” To win the support of Southern Democrats in Congress, Roosevelt announced that the bill wouldn’t apply to “domestic help.”

  20. During the recession is the best time for domestics to fight back and make this a law. I know 5 nannies this year lost jobs without much notice when parents income dropped. Why shouldn't these nannies want this law?

  21. In any occupation an employee must have conversations and negotiations on their own salary, what you can and can't or wont' do in your job description. Unless you are union.We can't legislate people into have a conscious, has NY thought of what the consequences are if a nanny comes forward. The law wouldn't make sense if it's a worthwhile punishment.The honest employers are already complying, and the others won't/dont' care. Will you take a stand with them in the interview process or report them? One can teach assertiveness training to nannies or create a law, but they can't control what the nanny chooses to take from that.It means not having a job/income/reference. A roof over the head, mouths fed. An investigation in the interim.Many of our nanny discussion boards are full of laments from those who don't know how to find the courage to stand up for themselves. In spite of laws already on the books. Laws can only go so far sometimes.Don't tell me I don't fight for the future of nannies and that I don't care about them. I've been doing it all along before some of you were even born. With as many nannies as there are across this county I can say those of us PUBLIC and VOCAL about fighting for nannies rights have not been in the majority.When an article about nannies comes out in a newspaper how many of you write in and comment on it?FOR those of you all excited about this bill and it is just a bill, have you really looked hard at what laws are already in place in our country to protect you. More importantly have you read articles in places like the nanny network library on fair labor practices and advice. Do you bother sharing this information with the people you interview with? Do you take high roads? Do you discuss these things with nannies you know in your area so you can present a united front?I have lost count of the number of jobs I have passed on because I stuck to my convictions. My life would be easier if a majority of nannies out there would do the same.There are many nannies in this country that ARE GETTING MORE than what this bill states. AND, there are many occupations in this country that CAN NOT get some of the things outlined in this bill.Say, it's get written into law. What fight are you young nannies going to take on for this industry?Are you going to join in supporting licensing and credentialing for this profession? Are you going to get more training to provide credibility for yourselves so that you can use that word professional and mean it? See I make "nannies" annoyed when I mention that fight.When, this is what will really validate us in the long run.Nannies all over the country lost their job this past year without much notice, LOOK AROUND MILLIONS of people lost their jobs this past year with no notice, severance, retirement, etc. I was with a nanny friend when a friend of her's got a call on a Friday evening saying as of Monday she know longer had a teaching job in a childcare center. Did we know of anyone looking for a nanny?I can't believe that a judge and court is going to side with a nanny if she walks into court wanting severance from a family who has to worry about not having a job too. That is absurd. Guess what, that's going on all over the country. I was a teacher's aide in a childcare center and I am seeing more teachers in job boards turning to our profession. They are more qualified and trained to work with kids than many nannies are. Like me and my friends who were teachers they will learn there are a lot more pros to being a nanny then trying to go back into the daycare field. Are you nannies prepared for the competition from them? Thank God I am.If this bill becomes laws, and other ones around the country come into being, parents are going to go for the most bang for their buck. If they can get a teacher to be there nanny. I can say this is why I've been hired in some jobs.

  22. Correction -The law wouldn't make sense WITHOUT A worthwhile punishment.Sorry for other typos too, looking for a job while writing this and didn't proof well.

  23. Writing comments on blogs doesn't make change. Laws do. A few may attend workshops and classes but most don't have the opportunity. At most 100 nannies attend workshops at INA and Nannypalooza each year. All the millions other, don't have workshops to attend or even nanny agency staff that help them negotiate. MOST do everything themselves. Classes and workshops are great, but don't make parents worry about following the laws.The laws won't make a difference if they aren't enforcable and illegals won't make claims because they don't want to be deported.For most, it won't make a difference. But if it's a law then I'm sure dozens if not hundreds may very well benefit from it.

  24. Why is everyone getting so emotional? Almost all nannies are breaking the law already and not paying taxes or under reporting their taxes and how many are prosecuted? Parents and nannies are going to continue to break the law too.

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