What about tracking the nanny's hours? What is required?
Domestic employees have been covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) since 1974. The FLSA requires employers to maintain accurate and complete contemporaneous time tracking records for all hours worked by an employee.
Hours worked include the following:
- All hours on duty, including meal time if the employee is required to remain at the premises during meals.
- Nap time
- Time when children are in school IF nanny is required to be "on call" for any emergencies such as early dismissal, child sick at school, etc.
In general, hours worked includes all time that the employee is required to be at the employer's home and all time that the employee is required to be 'on call' in the course of his/her duties.
These rules are governed by the » Fair Labor Standards Act. As a practical matter, very few (if any) families have a time clock or time cards. Failure to keep these records, however, leaves the family exposed to adverse action by a former nanny or housekeeper when a dispute occurs. The burden of proof in a dispute falls on the family. Many families utilize a Nanny Log and put this document to use as a time tracking and expense tracking tool. Still others utilize a calendar tool such as a Month-at-a-Glance style calendar booklet, as it is easy to stow in a drawer and keep for future reference.
All families should have a written work agreement signed by both the household employee and the employer. The work agreement details job duties, schedule, hourly and guaranteed (if applicable) compensation, and treatment of overtime. A live in nanny must be paid for every hour on duty at the agreed hourly rate; the live out nanny is entitled to overtime (time and one-half) for hours over 40 worked in a week.
The written work agreement eliminates misunderstanding and it is also a powerful documentation of the agreement between the nanny and the family. Remember, however, a written work agreement that violates employment law is invalid - all appropriate FLSA provisions will take precedence over the work agreement should a dispute go to court or before arbitration.