Susan Tokayer, MSW, President
Family Helpers • 125 Main Street • Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522
P. 914.674.8535 • F. 914.674.4679 • Info@familyhelpers.net www.familyhelpers.net
Bonded & Licensed Agency • Member Better Business Bureau
Member International Nanny Association
Local Agency Owner Speaks Out and Shares Insight on New York Nanny Bills
Dobbs Ferry, New York (June 23, 2010)- Local agency owner and Co-president of the International Nanny Association, Susan Tokayer, doesn’t think that the recently passed New York State Senate nanny bill and the New York State Assembly nanny bill are going to have much of an impact on those who employ their nannies legally.
“At this time we can’t predict if a reconciled bill will be signed into law or what items, if any, from the original Senate bill will be included. If a new law is passed, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on those domestic employers who find their household staff through reputable placement agencies like Family Helpers and those who pay their employees ‘on the books,’” said Tokayer.
Family Helpers clients already offer competitive salary and benefits packages to their household employees. Tokayer works hard to ensure that her families and nannies are both educated about employment law and the industry’s standard benefits and best practices. “I believe that all of my clients are already offering most, if not all, of the benefits that are included in the current Senate bill. Most of our families already allow for sick days, paid vacation time and paid holidays. So when it comes to these benefits, I don’t anticipate any law passed would have much effect on the agreements my clients have with their employees.”
While Tokayer is in agreement that nannies should be offered standard benefits, like paid sick time, vacation time and a contribution to a health insurance plan, Tokayer is concerned with the language in the Senate’s bill requiring domestic workers receive 2 week’s termination notice. “While this may be reasonable in some cases, there should be exemptions for nannies being terminated for cause. It is unreasonable to expect employers to pay a nanny for two weeks, if, for example, they discovered their employee stealing, or worse, harming their child.” Family Helpers is currently drafting letters to Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand expressing her concerns over this aspect of the bill.
Tokayer also states that although the bill requires time and a half pay for domestic employees working more than 40 hours in a 7 day period, this law already exists. “Under the Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA ), nonexempt employees are to be paid 1 ½ times their salary beyond 40 hours per week, and domestic workers are nonexempt. Although this law is already in existence, it has not always been consistently enforced.”