More evidence that California is entirely screwed

Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers\’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck.

Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in a legal cause of action against the employer (\”parents\”) including cumulative penalties, attorneys\’ fees, legal costs and expenses associated with hiring expert witnesses, an unprecedented measure of legal recourse provided no other class of workers – from agricultural laborers to garment manufacturers.\”

PJ O\’Rourke once asked when were we done? When were we finished with making laws, when had we reached the point at which we\’d done it all?

Possible to argue that California is past that point I think?

9 thoughts on “More evidence that California is entirely screwed”

  1. So Californians now can’t work for 2 hours without a break?

    But other than that, it’s not so different to us. Hire a babysitter too regularly (every first Friday of the month, say) and they’ll be an employee. So you’ve got minimum wage, employer’s liability insurance, PAYE, employer’s NI, employer tax returns.

    Compulsory pension contributions when the new rules kick in (next year for small employers?).

    Presumably maternity leave as well (keep away from the babysitter, fathers, it’s too expensive).

  2. Should boost the sale of posh ready prepared eat-at-home meals.

    What is, I ask myself, Mr. Murphy’s take on this?

  3. This is why the State should never get involved in recognising different forms of contract (“employment”, “subcontracting”, “marriage”, etc).

  4. Whoever started this story didn’t look too hard at the legislation:

    “Domestic work employee” does not include any of the following:
    (C) Any person under 18 years of age who is employed as a babysitter for a minor child of the domestic work employer.

    I hate sloppy pedantry.

  5. What’s the threshold to be an employee at all?

    You have to pay the babysitter $1700 a year before you’re on the hook for federal employment taxes etc.

    It is completely unclear to me whether the neighbour that you pay $50 a couple of times a year to watch your kids is technically your employee or not.

    The best answer I have right now is “probably, but in practice nobody’s interested unless it’s a regular arrangement. Unless the kids go to the neighbour’s house, in which case she’s running a childcare business and you’re a customer.

    Quite what the law would make of an arrangement where the kids went to the neighbour’s house for the day, but decided they’d rather play with their own toys, so the neighbour brought them home and sat there whilst they played, I don’t know. PRobably “not an employee” given the level of discretion that the neighbour seems to have.

  6. Well, in the UK we got there first… remember the pair of PCSO’s who were done for looking after each other’s kids a couple of days a week on a reciprocal basis, as neither of them were registered child carers…?

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