The majority of nannies working in the Boston area are not being paid the legal rate for overtime, a survey conducted by group that advocates for female and immigrant workers found.
According to the Boston Globe, the Matahari Women Workers’ Center in Boston interviewed 350 nannies throughout the Boston area and found that just one quarter of them reported that they were being paid the legal rate of time-and-a-half for hours worked in excess of 40 per week.
After accounting for unpaid overtime hours and fixed salaries, nannies earned as little as $4.44 per hour, the survey found. In contrast, nannies on the high end earned hourly wages of $30. Median hourly pay for the nannies is $18, according to Matahari’s calculations.
“We still are having a problem on enforcement,’’ Monique Nguyen Belizario, executive director of Matahari, told the Boston Globe. “The nannies are not getting the overtime they are entitled to.”
Nearly half of the surveyed nannies reported working more than 40 hours per week, which legally entitles them to overtime pay. However, many of the nannies were not aware that the law mandates they are to paid time-and-a-half for every hour over 40.
In some cases, those employing nannies set their own overtime thresholds of 45 or 50 hours a week, contrary to the law,” the Boston Globe reported.
While some nannies said they worked for generous employers, others reported getting fired after requesting overtime pay, having their hours reduced after requesting overtime, having to watch other people’s children, and being made to do laundry or clean the employer’s home without a pay increase.
Massachusetts recently adopted the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, casting light on some of the difficulties faced by nannies and other domestic workers. The bill requires a written contract between employer and employee and calls for basic provisions that most employees are entitled to, such as the right to a day off, meal breaks, and adequate sleeping quarters for live-in help, according to the Boston Globe.
Still lacking from these provisions, however, is earned sick pay time. Many nannies told Matahari that sick days without pay are too much of a hardship, so they will be forced to work while sick or get a babysitter for their own children if they are sick.
“The reality of a nanny’s work is that when the children you care for get sick, you often get sick as well,’’ one nanny told Matahari, underscoring the need for sick pay, according to the Boston Globe.
Source: The Boston Globe