Across the country, states and cities enacted a number of laws – from minimum wage increases to paid family and medical leave to domestic worker protections – that had a significant impact on household employment. A National Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights was even introduced in Congress.
Here are the highlights from 2019.
Minimum wage rates are on the rise
Many states and cities increased their minimum wage rates on January 1, 2019, or July 1, 2019, and many will do so again in 2020. Household employees need to be paid the highest applicable minimum wage rate. With the federal rate stuck at $7.25/hour, often times a state, county or city rate will apply. State-by-State Guide to Minimum Wage Rates
New York passes several employment laws
After a flurry of legislative activity towards the end of 2019, several new employment laws will go into effect in New York at various points in 2020. Here are seven of those laws that household employers will need to follow. 7 Employment Laws New York Household Employers Need to Know for 2020
Philadelphia extends labor protections to household employees
The City of Philadelphia recently passed what is considered some of the strongest domestic worker protections in the country for the city’s 16,000 household employees. The law is scheduled to go into effect in May 2020. Here is what the legislation includes. Philadelphia Extends Labor Protections to Household Employees
Nanny tax threshold increases for 2020
If a nanny or other household employees like a housekeeper or an in-home senior caregiver, earns $2,200 or more in cash wages in 2020, Social Security and Medicare taxes, commonly called FICA taxes or “nanny taxes,” must be paid by the family and the employee. Nanny Tax Threshold Increases for 2020
Massachusetts establishes a Paid Family and Medical Leave program
Starting October 1, 2019, all Massachusetts employers, including families that have hired an employee to work in their home, have new responsibilities under the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave law. How to Comply with Massachusetts PFML as a Household Employer
National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights introduced in Congress
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07) formally introduced companion bills to give household employees basic labor rights. The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act is the first-ever, national legislation that would ensure the rights and protections of millions of household employees throughout the country. National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Introduced to Provide Protections for Household Employees
Seattle’s domestic worker protections go into effect
Before Philadelphia, Seattle was the first major U.S. city to pass labor protections for household employees. The city’s Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights provides minimum wage, rest break, and meal break rights to an estimated 33,0000 nannies, senior caregivers and other employees who work in a private home. Seattle Domestic Workers’ Protections Now in Effect
Westchester County enacts safe leave time and earned sick leave laws
This safe leave law, which went into effect in October, requires employers to provide eligible employees with paid leave to be used for reasons relating to domestic violence or human trafficking. Westchester County Enacts Safe Leave Time Law
Earlier in the year, Westchester County passed a law to allow eligible employees to take sick leave for their own medical needs, those of a family member, or other covered reasons. Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law Impacts Household Employers
Universal Paid Leave comes to Washington, D.C.
Washington D.C. household employers who are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes, which includes just about all families that have hired household help, are required to contribute to the Universal Paid Leave. Washington, D.C. Household Employers Required to Comply with Universal Paid Leave
New Mexico ends exemptions for household employees from the state’s wage laws
Nannies, in-home senior caregivers, housekeepers, and other household employees in New Mexico are now protected by the state’s minimum wage standards and other wage protections. New Mexico Passes Wage Protections for Household Employees
The New York State Court of Appeals upholds “13-Hour Rule”
The ruling confirms that a household employee who is asked to work a 24-hour shift will only need to be paid for 13 of those hours as long as the caregiver is provided with eight hours for sleep and three hours for meal breaks. New York Court of Appeals Upholds 13-Hour Rule for Home Health Aides
Stay up to date on the latest in household employment compliance
Household employment is what we do so we look at every tax, wage, and labor law from the perspective of a household employer. We cut through a lot of the legalese and explain, in plain English, what you need to do and why to comply with the law.
GTM can help
With nearly 30 years in the household employment industry, GTM Payroll Services has helped tens of thousands of families across the country comply with the often confusing and complex state and federal tax, wage, and labor laws. If you need assistance, give us a call at (800) 929-9213 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert.