Hiring a babysitter or nanny could get a lot more complicated for California parents.
A bill now in California's State Senate, nicknamed "The Babysitter's Bill," would require people who employ domestic workers to pay them minimum wage and overtime, and provide workers' comp, MSNBC.com reports.
Parents would also be required to give sitters mandatory breaks: a 10-minute break every four hours, and a 30-minute meal break after five hours. "Failure to abide with the provisions of the measure could land the employer in court since [the bill] provides for legal action to be taken against employers by domestic workers," MSNBC explains.
The law would apply only to caregivers older than 18 who are not family members. It's designed to protect domestic workers, who are currently ineligible for worker's comp if they work less than full-time.
The bill has ignited fury on the Internet. Bloggers have pointed out that parents would have to hire two sitters to cover breaks. On The Stir, Julie Ryan Evans wrote:
So pretty much forget ever going on a date night again, and as for us working moms -- we're totally screwed. Minimum wage, I get, and most people I know pay much more than $7.25 an hour for a sitter. But the rest of it is asinine and just another burden on women who work outside the home to support their families.
I've been a babysitter and hired babysitters, and I know a lot about the job. It's difficult no doubt, and I cherish my good sitters. But babysitting isn't like an office job. The kids nap, they sleep at night, you can sit down and watch a movie with them from time to time, and even eat when they eat.
Readers, what's your take on "The Babysitter's Bill?"