On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown, signed into law AB 241, providing overtime to nannies and other domestic workers in California. The new law requires employers to pay time-and-a-half overtime to any nanny, housekeeper, or personal attendant who works more than nine hours in one day, or 45 hours in a week. Coupled with California’s new $10 minimum wage by 2016, your nanny or housekeeper will soon cost you an overtime rate of $15 per hour.

While intended to help low income domestic workers, most companies who employ domestic workers say that providing overtime to nannies and other personal attendants will push such care out of the reach of many families and the elderly, ultimately costing domestic workers their jobs. Alternatively, those workers the law was meant to help will have their hours cut to ensure that overtime is not triggered, costing them more income then the occasional overtime hour will compensate them from.

The new overtime law goes into effect on January 1, 2014. If not extended by the legislature, the new overtime law will sunset in 2017.

AB 241 provides additional protections that coincide with the recently expanded federal protections for many home health aides. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor issued rules requiring many personal care assistants to be paid minimum wage for each hour worked, and overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week.

The federal rules, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, take effect in 2015. However, they only apply to in-home workers placed by outside agencies.

Employers of nannies, housekeepers, and other domestic workers must make sure their policies and practices are updated to properly state when and under what circumstances overtime will be paid. If you need more information, please contact your Weintraub Tobin employment attorney.