New Babysitting Bill Is Going to Ruin Life for Working Moms

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working womanThere is a bill currently being considered by the California Legislature that is one of the most insane, infuriating, and detrimental to working moms I've ever seen. Dubbed the babysitting bill, AB 889 would require families to provide nannies and sitters (anyone over 18 who cares for your child except one of your other children) with lunch and rest breaks, minimum wage, worker's compensation, paid vacation, and overtime pay. Families who fail to provide these things could be sued.

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. It's not even good for the babysitters!

The rest breaks in particular are just ridiculous because that means someone else would have to come in and cover for their breaks every two hours. If you're a parent, you know how hard it is to find one good sitter, much less two; good luck finding one who's willing to work for 15 minutes at a time.

What are you thinking, California? As stupid as the bill is (and sorry, but I really can't think of a better word to describe it), it's moving forward. It's already passed the Assembly and is likely to be on the governor's desk soon. Unbelievable. Mary Poppins would so be against this.

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. I'm not diminishing the job at all. From the time I was 10, I babysat countless hours for countless years, and there were challenges for sure, but I have no idea what the hell I would have done if someone said, okay, it's time for your 15-minute break. It's not like I needed a cigarette or anything.

So hurry, book your sitters now, because soon you won't be able to afford them or figure out how to even logistically maneuver such mandates. Even if you don't live in California, you know once it's law there, it's only a matter of time before we're all stuck at home and babysitters can't find work -- who is this bill supposed to help?

Do you see any validity in this babysitting bill?


Image via Wendel F./Flickr

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dirti... dirtiekittie

i didn't on the post yesterday and still don't. i understand more now who this bill is trying to protect (think along the lines of live in nannies or household help or whatever you'd like to call it) and those 'domestic workers' who are on call 24/7. the problem is, the law is too broad in defining domestic worker... they nicknamed it the babysitter bill because it targets more live-in caregiving than outside help. however, this bill also covers in home nurses for the elderly and disabled, and i've had friends in that industry who do get shortchanged in that work relationship.


and at the heart of the matter, it's still another method to bring income into the state. there can be some good legislation in there (giving a live in nanny an 8 hour sleep break, for example, unless there's an emergency makes sense) but there's also just plain greed. if you have a babysitter, you suddenly have to be an accountant, a payroll keeper, an HR person... so you can go to dinner & a movie with your honey bunny. in addition, they want the domestic help to receive an annual raise correlating to the 'predetermined percentage' as established by the labor board. i have been working my hind parts off for years with a company. i pay my taxes and i work HARD at what i do, but i have not gotten a raise in over THREE YEARS. not even a cost of living raise! so i said it before, and here it is again - CA, you wanna worry about those raises, CALL ME. i'd love one!

Margaret Erin Bathory

that is just crap! wtf are they thinking. do they not understand how hard it is to find a sitter you can actually trust, let alone one you can afford. Who in their right mind is gonna pay someone to come in for 15 mins at a time to relieve your regular sitter for a rest break?!?! Stupid yes, insane OH YES and just plain unimaginable.

eeyore13 eeyore13

This is to benefit the state.  I can understand live-in nannies may need some protection, but the 12 year-old next door?  Imagine the tax revenue they are missing on workers who make $10-$20/hour under the table.

hello... hellosugar

So glad I don't live in California.

dirti... dirtiekittie

@eeyore - the bill wouldn't apply to anyone under the age of 18 that is watching your children, so they'd be exempt. (i'm not disagreeing with you, just pointing that out.)

Bryce... Brycesmommy21

This is by far the stupidest thing I've heard. As mentioned babysitting is not like an office job, the sitter can watch tv, rest while the kids are napping and available to eat pretty much whenever. My mother in law watches my son when we are at work, so does this mean I will be sued for not paying her??

nonmember avatar Adam

This is just ridiculous...what's the point of working anymore these days??!! If you work, they take their money out of your check before you ever get it, then require you to fulfill the asinine requirements of a bill like this. But, if you stay home and sit on your duff all day you get welfare, medicaid, food stamps, a free cell phone, etc. We pay them so we can work vs they pay us to stay at home...DOESN'T MAKE ANY DAMN SENSE AT ALL!! /rant

Memph... MemphisSuzi

How ridiculous!  A working mom can not leave her job every 2 hours to give the nanny a break - heck it would be easier just to bring them with me to the office. I understand it for certain types of workers but think that the bill needs to be more clearly defined as to who it applys to.


Also, I feel like you take a job knowing its benefits - negatives.  If you CHOOSE to be a nanny, a live in, a babysitter, you do so knowing that breaks and workers comp are not provided.  I pay my babysitter way over minium wage so I do agree with that.

ceciliam ceciliam

I'm not sure what to say....

douxm... douxmusique

I wish i could get paid minimum wage and take breaks during my day job.... Oh. Thats right. Its not considered my job, its my place and duty to be home raising the next generation. Because it was my choice i dont get benefits :/

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