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Can I Give My Nanny Time Off in Lieu of Pay?

womanaskingWhen it comes to working overtime, many parents and nannies assume that instead of being paid for the additional hours worked, a nanny can be given the equivalent of hours off instead.

When it comes down to law, this simply isn’t true.

Nannies are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Since nannies aren’t classified as exempt workers, the labor laws outlined in the act apply to them.

These laws state that non-exempt employees:

  1. Must be paid at least minimum wage for every hour worked.
  2. Must be paid overtime at the rate of 1.5 times their hourly base rate for all hours worked over 40 in a 7-day period.  Live-in nannies are not covered under this federal mandate, however in some states, excluding Texas, live-in nannies must also be the paid the overtime differential.

Since the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that nannies be paid for every hour worked, providing nannies time off in lieu of pay is not legally permitted. When it comes to providing employees compensatory time off in lieu of pay, doing so is legally limited to employers of public, government employees only.

As a non-exempt employee, nannies cannot be paid a straight salary per workweek. While nannies and employees may talk in terms of salary, to be compliant with labor laws, a nanny’s salary must be broken down into base and overtime wages. For example, if a nanny earns $600 gross per week for 45 hours of work, the compensation would be a base wage of $12.63 for the first 40 hours and an overtime wage of $18.94 for the remaining five hours, totaling the $600 “salary”.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act nanny employers are also legally required to track their employees work hours. Working hours include all of the time the nanny is at the employer’s home and required to be available for work.  Having the nanny write her start time and finish time in a logbook each day is sufficient for record keeping.

If you have questions about how to pay your nanny, we’ve got you covered. The nanny pay specialists at Breedlove and Associates, Homework Solutions and GTM Payroll Services, Inc. offer complimentary consultations to clients of Morningside Nannies.


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