The state of California takes a close interest in employee rights, especially when it comes to proper pay. There are a few exceptions, but you have a right to get paid at least the minimum wage for domestic work.
As a domestic caregiver, you’re entitled to overtime pay and all the other rights associated with employment in the Golden State. We’ve put together this blog to help explain the wages you’re entitled to.
Defining Domestic Work in California
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) “You are a domestic worker if you provide services related to the care of people in the home, or maintain private households or their premises.”
Domestic workers include:
- babysitters (over age 18)
- childcare providers
- adult caregivers
- personal attendants
- cooks and chefs
- gardeners and outdoor maintenance workers
- and other household staff
Spouses, family members and children under 18 who are babysitters aren’t considered domestic workers. In other words, parents don’t need to pay their 17-year-old child minimum wage, or overtime pay, for babysitting.
How Much is Minimum Wage in California as of 2020?
As per the DIR, almost all employees in California must be paid the minimum wage as required by state law. As of early 2020, the current minimum wage is $12.00 per hour for companies with 25 or fewer employees, and $13.00 per hour for companies with 26 employees or more.
- These wages will be increasing by a dollar per year for the next few years, until everyone’s minimum pay is $15 per hour, regardless of the size of the business.
A few cities, such as San Diego, Pasadena and Oakland CA, have city-wide laws about minimum wage too.
What is Overtime in California, and How Much Should Domestic Caregivers Earn For Overtime?
Beyond the minimum wage, overtime pay is due for domestic caregivers who work long days and long weeks. These laws can seem a little complicated, but we’ll give you the basics here:
- If you work more than 40 hours a week, you’re entitled to overtime for the 41st hour and beyond, paid at “time and a half.”
- If you work more than 8 hours in a day, you’re also entitled to overtime, for the 9th hour and beyond, paid at “time and a half.”
- When you work seven full days straight, you are entitled to “double-time.”
- Your 12th hour in a day, and beyond, also earn you “double-time.”
Understanding Time-and-a-half and Double-time
Time-and-a-half means your regular wage, plus another 50%. In other words, if you usually earn $12.00 / hr, your overtime pay should be 50% more, or $18.00 / hr.
Double-time is twice your usual pay. If you earn $12.00 / hr, your double-time pay is $24.00 / hr.
So, a nanny who earns minimum wage and works a 16 hour day is entitled to $12.00 for the first 8 hours, then $18 / hr for hours 9 through 12, and $24.00 per hour for hours 13 through 15.
Is your employer paying you enough?
My Employer Denies Me Minimum Wage or Overtime Pay. What Should I Do?
Employee rights for domestic caregivers, housekeepers and nannies are our specialties. California’s overtime laws are meant to be taken seriously. If you’re a domestic worker and have been denied overtime or double-time pay, contact us here.
We can help you understand your rights as a domestic worker in California. Our experienced legal team is ready to defend you now!