Not Enough Bullets

In their crusade to make the world safe for rich white people, the New York Times takes on the horror that is a new Massachusetts law that requires au pairs be paid minimum wage for caring for children.

I get it, you feel entitled for cheap/free labor from the people who watch your kids:

When Stephanie Mayberg, a physician assistant, learned that a court ruling meant her child care costs were about to increase by 250 percent, she was stunned. The recent federal court decision, that au pairs were entitled to the rights of domestic workers in Massachusetts, including being paid a minimum wage, left Ms. Mayberg, of Southborough, wondering how she and her husband could afford to keep their au pair from Colombia for a second year.


Of the legal finding that au pairs — young people from other countries who come to the United States to live with families and care for their children — were entitled to a minimum wage and protected by Massachusetts’s Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, passed in 2014, she added, “I’m a big supporter because au pairs are unprotected.”


In Massachusetts, the decision has thrown families who host au pairs into chaos as they sort through their new responsibilities as employers, and cope with significantly increased child care costs.


The minimum wage in Massachusetts, $12.75 per hour, means that families who employ au pairs will now have to pay them roughly $528 a week for 45 hours of work, when factoring in overtime and a $77 deduction for room and board. The lawsuit, which was brought in 2016, had been working its way through the courts for several years, but it appeared that many au pair agencies had not warned host families about the pending case or the possibility that the domestic workers rules might apply.


But some former au pairs disagreed with the parents and the view of the federal government. Thaty Oliveira, 35, who is from Brazil, was an au pair in Massachusetts in 2003. While she said she had a great experience with the family, and worked at most 30 hours a week, she said that was not the norm among her fellow au pairs, many of whom spent too many hours doing child care to get a rich exposure to American culture. Even in her case, she said, she considers the child care she performed to have been real work, deserving of a minimum wage.

“We’re not asking for a lot,” she said. “It’s really just minimum rights.”

But it’s too much for the self-absorbed assholes to offer basic human dignity to the people that they have hired to safeguard their families.


  1. Charles Olson says:

    A friend of mine who is by no means wealthy had to send her au pair (who her kids loved) home because of this decision. The problem is that the host families are also providing room and board, and the decision fails to account for that.

  2. If the numbers for room and board need to be changed, great, make a proposal. (FYI, a room and board would be still priced at not much more.)

    That does not excuse a system that is abusive.

    It's like saying that having someone doing your landscaping would be too expensive if they could not hire illegal aliens,

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