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Nanny State? Calif. May Force Parents To Pay Babysitters Workers’ Comp, OT

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The next time you plan a movie night without the kids, you may have to provide more than just pizza for your babysitter.

Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento are fast-tracking a bill that would require workers’ compensation benefits, meal breaks and paid vacation time for all “domestic employees”, including nannies, housekeepers and even babysitters.

Assembly Bill 889, authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), has already cleared the Assembly and is expected to receive overwhelming support from Senate Democrats, who control both houses of the California legislature.

Under AB 889, parents legally become household “employers” and are obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (family members are exempt).

In addition, the bill would require parents to provide substitute caregivers every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, pay for any overtime worked, and provide a line-item pay stub showing gross and net wages earned, total hours worked, deductions and both employer and employee Social Security numbers.

An amended version of the bill even shows lawmakers initially wanted to require paid vacation for domestic work employees.

If parents fail to meet any of the provisions in AB 889, they could be liable for penalties including attorneys’ fees, legal expenses and back pay up to a maximum of $4,000.

The bill marks “an unprecedented measure of legal recourse provided no other class of workers — from agricultural laborers to garment manufacturers”, Republican State Senator Doug LaMalfa told TheUnion.com.

LaMalfa also warned the “unreasonable costs and risks contained in this bill will discourage folks from hiring housekeepers, nannies and babysitters and increase the use of institutionalized care rather than allowing children, the sick or elderly to be cared for in their homes”.

Click here for more information and the full text of AB 889.

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