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|Posted on October 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM||comments (47)|
Why nannies, babysitters, senior care workers, housekeepers and other types of caregivers need to be paid legally.
When you accept a job as a nanny or other caregiver, one of the first questions you ask is "How much will I get paid?" If a potential employer wants to pay you in cash off the books, red flags should go up. An employer who wants to pay you an hourly rate, but not the taxes that legally go with it, doesn't have your best interests in mind. When someone pays you more than $1,800 a year, you and your employer are also required to pay taxes. (Note: If you earn less than $1,800 a year, doing occasional or part-time work for someone, you can get paid in cash.) While most employers realize the legal and tax ramifications of paying a caregiver under the table, some employees still find themselves in the awkward position of being offered cash payments instead of a proper employer/employee payroll. While the idea of pocketing that extra cash is appealing (who can't use a little extra money every month?), it does you no good in the long run and can really end up hurting your career, your health and even your retirement plans, says Lisa Weinberger, a lawyer and founder of Mom, Esq. "Employees who are paid legally and professionally have some very important benefits and protections," says Stephanie Breedlove, head of Care.com HomePay, provided by Breedlove. For example, the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights -- passed in New York, Hawaii and recently in California -- mandates protections like overtime wages for caregivers. You're in a much stronger position to ask your employer to abide by this bill if you're also following the law and paying taxes. Future employers might even question your honesty if they ever discover you didn't pay taxes. And when employees and their employers willingly break this law, they make the whole profession look bad. So start acting like the professional you are and learn about the reasons you need to be paid legally.