California Law Requires Payment of Overtime Wages to Caregivers

On January 1, 2014, the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (DWBR) became law in the State of California. Previously, employees who qualified as “personal attendants,” including caregivers, nannies and babysitters who worked in private households, were exempt from overtime.

The DWBR eliminates the overtime exemption for personal attendants and provides that personal attendants, “shall not be employed more than nine hours in any workday or more than 45 hours in any workweek unless the employee receives one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over nine hours in any workday and for all hours worked more than 45 hours in the workweek.” So now caregivers, nannies and babysitters, with limited exceptions, must be paid overtime compensation. Unfortunately, this law does not apply to IHSS workers and those caring for close family members.

In the past, many employers relied on the personal attendant exemption to avoid paying overtime to caregivers. Now that the Legislature has eliminated this exemption, substantial liability will arise if an employer does not pay the overtime required under California Law. Under Labor Code § 1194, domestic workers are not only able to recover their unpaid overtime in a civil action, but they also may recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. California law also provides interest and penalties for workers who are not properly paid overtime compensation.

If you are working as a domestic employee who is not paid overtime when working more than nine hours a day or 45 hours a week, you should consult with Chaleff Rehwald to discuss your rights under this law.  We provide free and confidential consultations.  Call Us Now.  (818)703-7500.