Protecting Your Family and Avoiding a Nanny Nightmare

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Do you know that your nanny is an employee who has many of the benefits and protections afforded by federal and state employment laws? For example, she may be entitled to overtime pay if she stays those extra few hours so you two can have a date night. Or she may be entitled to worker’s compensation if she is hurt while taking the kids to the zoo.

Nanny care involves many legal issues from background checks to wages to taxes. Not addressing these issues in a contract up front will only invite problems down the road. A legally binding employment contract clarifies the terms and conditions of employment (e.g. duties, compensation, benefits, transportation, etc.) and may protect you in the unfortunate event of a dispute. With the new school year quickly approaching, now is a great time to enter into a nanny contract. Whether you have your own nanny or participate in a nanny share, it’s important that you meet with an attorney to discuss your situation and make sure you’re minimizing your risk of an employment dispute. We at Helsell Fetterman can work with you to create the right employment contract for your family.


About the Authors

Lauren Parris Watts

Lauren Parris Watts’ practice focuses on representing and advising individual clients and small to medium-sized business clients in risk management, contractual matters, employment and general tort litigation. She counsels clients on a variety of issues, including compensation and severance agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation restrictions, disability accommodations, FMLA and other leave rights and misconduct investigations. She also represents her clients in lawsuits alleging wrongful termination, sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination.

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