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When someone is employed by a private household, for example as a personal chef, assistant, nanny or other domestic staff, they have rights just as any other employee. In turn, an employer has responsibilities to maintain lawful employment practices. It is important to understand and adhere to state and federal laws prior to hiring domestic staff and maintaining them throughout their tenure.

Important areas to consider include: overtime compensation, time off, social security benefits, income taxes, workers’ compensation, disability insurance and unemployment insurance.

New York Employee Laws & Regulations:

  • Employers must notify employees at the time of hiring of the rate of pay and regular payday. Additionally, employers must put in writing their policy on sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays, and hours of work. Employers must also notify employees in writing of the date of termination from employment and the date of cancellation of employee benefits, not more than five working days after the date of termination.
  • A private employee is entitled to a 24-hour time -off period every seven-day workweek.
  • Employers are not required to withhold income taxes from private staff wages unless the employee asks the employer to do so in writing and both parties agree.
  • Employees who suffer an injury or get sick outside of the workplace, or become pregnant qualify for disability payments up to 50% of their average weekly salary.
  • Employees who earn more than $500 in a quarter of a calendar year are covered by unemployment insurance if they lose their jobs.
  • Social Security and Medicare taxes must be paid for all employees earning more than $1,400 annually.
  • Employees who work overtime are entitled to be paid at one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. Household employees who live outside the worksite are entitled to this overtime rate after working 40 hours per week. Employees who live at the worksite are entitled to this overtime rate after working 44 hours per week.

Laws vary from state to state. If you have questions about these rights or responsibilities and how they apply to you, contact the U.S. Department of Labor or your State Department of Consumer Affairs.

About Private Staff Group

At Private Staff Group background checking is part of an asset and privacy protection plan and is included in your overall financial, legal and insurance coverage. There are important pre and post-employment considerations when hiring private staff. Private Staff Group offers employment solutions to handle these important staffing requirements. To get more information or to reach out for a potential hire, we invite you to contact us today.

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