Congressman Doug LaMalfa

Adventures In Babysitting: Nanny State To Sue For Rest Break?

How will parents react when they find out they will be expected to provide workers’ compensation benefits, rest and meal breaks and paid vacation time for…babysitters? Dinner and a movie night may soon become much more complicated.

Assembly Bill 889 (authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano of San Francisco) will require these protections for all “domestic employees,” including nannies, housekeepers and caregivers. The bill has already passed the Assembly and is quickly moving through the Senate with blanket support from the Democrat members that control both houses of the Legislature – and without the support of a single Republican member. Assuming the bill will easily clear its last couple of legislative hurdles, AB 889 will soon be on its way to the Governor’s desk.

Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck. Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in a legal cause of action against the employer including cumulative penalties, attorneys’ fees, legal costs and expenses associated with hiring expert witnesses, an unprecedented measure of legal recourse provided no other class of workers – from agricultural laborers to garment manufacturers. (On the bright side, language requiring an hour of paid vacation time for every 30 hours worked was amended out of the bill in the Senate.)

Unfortunately, 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. I can’t help but wonder if that is the goal of AB 889 – a terrible bill that needs to be stopped.

2 Responses to “Adventures In Babysitting: Nanny State To Sue For Rest Break?”

  1. Robert Bosich Says:

    Easy way out. Hire a domestic employment leasing company run by your benevolent local union. There are always ways for docile dumb downed Californians to bend over for autocrats on the way to serfdom!

  2. California AB 889 Could Be End of Private Babysitting Services - Religious Liberty - ReligiousLiberty.TV : Religious Liberty – ReligiousLiberty.TV Says:

    [...] 2, 2011 · Leave a Comment  California state Senator Doug LaMalfa writes the following here. The bill is significant enough that we are reprinting his post here.  Further analysis of the [...]