Sick Leave Switches

How does the new law impact household employees?

Back Web Only Aug 14, 2015 By Coral Henning

I am a working single mom, and about six months ago I hired a nanny to help around the house on days I work late or the occasional weekend. Until now I’ve paid an hourly wage for hours worked, and I’m wondering how California’s new sick leave act will impact how I pay my nanny?

When a family hires someone to perform duties in or around their home, they are considered a household employer. The IRS views the worker — whether a nanny, health aide, housekeeper, senior caregiver, gardener, chef or personal assistant, as an employee of the family. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can get you into trouble.

The Fair Labor Standards Act provides the framework for federal and state wage and hour law. Household employees are classified under FLSA as non-exempt workers. The current California minimum wage is $9.00 an hour.

Effective July 1, 2015, household employers in California are required to provide at least three days (or 24 hours) of paid sick time each year, as long as their employee works at least 30 days. Sick time accrues at one hour for every 30 hours worked and can roll over to the next year. Employers can cap sick time to 48 hours and do not need to pay for unused sick time if the employee is terminated. Employees can begin using their sick time 90 days after they begin working.

In your case, since the person works intermittently, you would most likely need to keep track of the sick leave accrual based on the above formula. Hope that helps!

Do you have a question for the County Law Librarian? Just email comstocks@saclaw.org.

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