Wealthy individuals with household workers or a nanny may not think of themselves as “employers,” but the State of California certainly does. In fact, householders must comply with a complex web of state and federal employment laws if they wish to prevent the possibility of costly litigation and nasty publicity.
When going through the interview process you have to know the right questions to ask, and which characteristics are considered ‘protected’ and out of bounds from inquiry. Have you thought about a background check? Don’t forget to ask for permission.
These relationships are often informal, trusting and sealed with a handshake, but that type of informality can come back to bite you if things turn south. Its best to document the relationship, the wages and hours. Domestic employees are entitled to break periods, minimum wage, and overtime. It’s in your interest to handle these relationships the right way from the beginning to protect yourself, before you find out the hard way that you’re going to be spending time cleaning up a legal clutter.
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