Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

This guidance is intended to help employers understand the various Oregon and federal wage and hour laws that affect the employment of workers who care for children in private homes. There are often important differences between state and federal law, and when those arise, the employer must apply whichever law is more beneficial to the employee. For example, an employee who is not exempt from either state or federal minimum wage must be paid the higher state minimum wage for all hours worked.  

Q. Is it necessary to pay minimum wage and overtime if a babysitter is hired on a "casual basis," for example, when parents go out for the evening?

A. No. Oregon’s minimum and overtime law exempts an individual who provides child care services in the individual’s home or the home of the child. Federal law also exempts such work (as domestic service work) so long as it is performed on a casual basis. 

Q. If a babysitter provides child care in a private home on a regular basis, is the payment of minimum wage and overtime required? 

A. Yes. Although the provision of child care is exempt from minimum wage under state law, federal law is stricter in regard to non-casual domestic service work and requires employers to pay no less than the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour. As a general guideline, if the sitter works more than eight hours per week, or earns more than $50 per calendar quarter, or their vocation is babysitting, under federal law the employee must be paid minimum wage and overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The Oregon Domestic Workers’ Protection Act would also require the payment of overtime after 40 hours in a workweek (or 44 hours if the worker lives in the home of the employer).

Q. Are there other working conditions laws that apply to sitters and nannies who are working in the home of the employer or accompanying the employer on vacations under the Oregon Domestic Workers’ Protection Act?

A. Yes. Oregon law also requires that domestic workers (which would include workers like nannies) have at least 24 consecutive hours of rest each work week and if the employee worked at least an average of 30 hours per week in the previous year, they must be given at least three paid personal days off. In addition, if the worker resides in the home of the employer, they must be permitted to cook their own food, subject to reasonable restrictions based on the religious or health needs of the home’s residents.
Q. Does the same requirement apply when the child is taken to the sitter´s home? 

A. No. When the child is taken to a sitter´s home, the sitter is not considered a domestic worker under state or federal law, and is, therefore, exempt from minimum wage and overtime.

Updated October, 2018

Nothing on this website is intended as legal advice.  Any responses to specific questions are based on the facts as we understand them, and not intended to apply to any other situations.  This communication is not an agency order.  If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.  We attempt to update the information on this website as soon as practicable following changes or developments in the laws and rules affecting Oregon employers, but we make no warranties or representations, express or implied, about whether the information provided is current.  We urge you to check the applicable statutes and administrative rules yourself and to consult with legal counsel prior to taking action that may invoke employee rights or employer responsibilities or omitting to act when required by law to act.