Legal Requirements for Nannies

by Five Fantastic Lawyers™ on November 16, 2012

Guest post outlining some of the most significant legal requirements for hiring a nanny in the US.

Employing a nanny is a bit more involved than that of many available jobs. The legalities surrounding the hiring of a nanny could greatly reduce the troubles you could face at a later time. Although many areas have no legal obligations pertaining to the hiring of a nanny, many care providing organizations will refuse to hire a person who can be potentially hazardous to the environment. What are some of the general legal obligations an employer has for hiring a nanny?

1. Pay – In most areas of the United States, paying an employee of any kind requires you to pay minimum wage or better. Although there are ways around this law, it is one that can cause quite a stir if it isn’t followed.

2. Taxes – Even in-house nannies need to pay their taxes. Most of the time, proof of income every year for the state and IRS can be distributed in the form of a 1099. If you are a private employer, this may be the most ideal. However, for legal organizations a W-2 must be filed.

3. Workers Comp – Many states will require Workers Compensation Insurance for all household employees, including nannies. It’s a way to ensure that if an accident occurs while on location, the employer isn’t liable for monetary damages.

4. Childcare Tax Credits – By legally paying your nanny, you could be eligible to use pre-tax dollars to pay a portion of his or her wages. If a flex spending account isn’t an option for the pre-tax method, then you may be able to claim the expense under the Childcare Tax Credit in order to be reimbursed some of the money you use to pay your nanny.

5. Criminal Checks – As an employer, you must have a signed release from the potential nanny to conduct a criminal background check. Because this check can adversely affect his or her job, the signed release is mandatory to conduct the search. While you’re at it, a driving record check may not be a bad idea if the nanny candidate will be driving the client around.

6. Unemployment – Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to pay unemployment insurance. These monies are used for unemployment benefits such as supplemental income checks and job placement services. This amount will vary from state to state.

7. Documentation – Nannies, like most other employees, must provide proof that they are able to work in the United States. Most of us have gone through this procedure with our employers in the form of an I-9 form in which our driver’s license was used as proof of citizenship.

Regardless of law, hiring a nanny should be an in-depth process. You are handing over the care and life of someone you love or a client to a complete stranger. It can be a stressful process to find someone who can fit your requirements. Always check to make sure that the person you are interviewing for the nanny position isn’t going to be someone that can potentially create a nightmare of a situation.

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of welcomes your comments at her email Id: – jdebra84 @


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