Governor Brown recently signed into law Assembly Bill 241, also known as the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Under this new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2014, domestic workers employed in private households, including nannies, housekeepers and personal caregivers, must be paid overtime when they work more than nine hours in a single work day or more than 45 hours in a work week. Notably, the new law does not cover babysitters.
The law expires by its own terms after three years. This sunset provision is intended to allow the Governor to set up a committee to review the effects of the bill, so that the Legislature can make an informed decision as to whether to renew it.
Many domestic employees employed by corporate employers already are entitled to overtime pay, but AB 241 extends the law to apply to private household employers as well. No matter who the employer is, a violation of the wage-and-hour laws may give rise to substantial liability for unpaid wages, civil penalties, attorneys’ fees, court costs and taxes. Accordingly, individuals who employ domestic workers in their homes must take steps to comply with these laws. This includes tracking domestic employees’ hours worked and paying out any overtime worked at the appropriate rate, maintaining accurate payroll and timekeeping records, and taking care of the employer’s share of payroll taxes and withholdings. Finally, employers of domestic workers should review their homeowner’s insurance policies to determine whether and under what conditions employment-related claims by domestic workers may be covered.
If you would like to discuss AB 241 or your overtime and wage-and-hour compliance in general, please contact a Lim Ruger attorney.