Many households across America hire nannies and babysitters to care for children, but most aren’t aware of the legal guidelines involved. Contrary to popular belief, nannies and babysitters are typically required to report their earnings. In addition, families must ensure they are hiring someone who is legally allowed to work in the country.
The legal guidelines may seem complicated, but they are necessary and worth it. After all, no one wants the IRS or government after them for tax evasion or fraudulent earnings. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most prevalent legal issues that families must understand before hiring any childcare provider.
Employee Vs. Independent Contractor?
A babysitter is typically considered an independent contractor, due to their hours. However, a more full-time babysitter or nanny will likely be considered an employee. While there is less paperwork for independent contractors, it’s critical that the right files are filed – regardless of paperwork amount.
Households that require specific hours and additional duties such as household chores, running errands or a variety of other tasks must file their babysitter as an employee. This is because a worker that is classified as an independent contractor can generally choose their own hours, responsibilities and chores. This is why families who know the law consider their babysitters or nannies employees. Otherwise, what is the point in hiring a babysitter or nanny on an independent contractor basis?
Before a babysitter or nanny can start working for a family, he or she is required to fill out an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). Parents should read the directions on the form to verify the babysitter is legally allowed to work in the United States. The prospective babysitter must provide documented evidence, such as a drivers license, state ID, Social Security card, birth certificate, passport, work permit or green card. Note: not all these items are required, a combination of these documents will suffice. The employer or family must make copies of these documents, including the I-9 forms.
Age Requirements for Babysitters
Before hiring any babysitter, it’s important that the parents look up the age requirements in their state. Some states allow children as young as 11 to babysit, while others require the babysitter be at least 17. Obviously, parents must determine which babysitter fits their needs. But, parents must abide by state and federal laws.
Employment Agreement with Sitters and Child Care Professionals
For parents that choose to hire a babysitter as an employee, it’s a good idea to draft an employment agreement. This document should include state guidelines for hours, pay dates, wage and basic job duties. The document should also include working conditions, reasons for termination and any warnings. These legal documents are fairly easy to create with a lawyer or online service.
Whether parents choose to hire an independent contractor or employee, it’s important that they are aware of both state and federal laws pertaining to babysitters. Each state does vary, so check with the state website for full guidelines. These are great suggestions for hiring a Babysitter whether in New York or Chicago,