by Mark Nestmann, Nestmann:
ust about every middle-class and wealthy family in the US uses household help at some point. Babysitters, maids, gardeners, nannies… American homes are full of them. And if your family uses any of these services, you face a minefield of legal hazards that almost no one wants to admit exists, much less discuss openly.
A recent lawsuit by entertainer Mariah Carey’s former nanny illustrates one of the issues that face families in this situation. But it’s by no means the only legal hazard with which you should be concerned.
In Mariah’s case, a dispute with a live-in nanny led to an ugly lawsuit. The nanny, whom Mariah fired after four months, wants to be paid back pay, including overtime, for tending to the entertainer’s 3-year-old twins. She is demanding that Mariah pay her more than $100,000, even though domestic employees aren’t covered by federal overtime pay requirements.
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