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Nannies often face illegal treatment by their employers

Nannies fill a critical role in the lives of working people. They are professionals that parents trust with the care and keeping of their children, which are often the most important things in their lives. Unfortunately, the importance of the job performed by a nanny does not influence the way that parents treat them.

All too often, those who hire nannies choose to treat the child care professionals whom they bring into their home with disdain or disrespect. In some cases, the family may engage in activities that are unquestionably illegal. Knowing about your rights as a child care professional can help you stand up for yourself if someone violates your rights.

Your employer does not have the right to retain your passport or state identification

In situations involving a live-in nanny, the employer may try to retain the nanny's drivers license, state issued ID or passport.

In some cases, families do this to ensure that the nanny can't simply leave during a shift or otherwise cause issues where the family would not have childcare. Other times, families do this because they feel they are entitled to a certain number of days' worth of work if they have paid for a worker to come to the country.

Regardless of the situation, your employer never has any right to retain your ID or passport. Doing so violates your rights and freedoms. If your employer will not give back your identification, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

You have a right to overtime pay

If you are an hourly employee, regardless of whether you live with your employer or not, there is an obligation for your employer to pay you time and a half for any hours that are overtime hours. Federal overtime law creates this obligation. New York state law also mandates overtime for domestic workers.

It's important to understand that if you live with your employer, you cannot claim overtime until you have worked 44 hours in a week. However, once you reach the threshold, whether it's 40 or 44 hours, you should receive at least 150 percent of your wages for any additional hours you work in that week.

You have a right to time off as a nanny

Additionally, the state law ensures that you should have at least 24 hours of rest every week or overtime pay for that seventh day. You should also receive three paid days off after your first year with the family.

Your work as a nanny is important, and you shouldn't tolerate abuses just because you provide domestic work. If your employer refuses to pay you what is reasonable and fair under federal and state law, you may need to take legal action to stand up for yourself.

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