The invisible world of domestic work: Report documents abuses
Domestic workers in the United States often work in tough conditions and for little pay, according to a new report.
November 27th, 2012
07:07 PM ET

The invisible world of domestic work: Report documents abuses

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Anna worked seven days a week as a nanny for the family of a Fortune 500 company executive. She lived with them in their 5th Avenue apartment in Midtown Manhattan. Her day began at 6 when the children woke up and didn't end until 10 at night when she put them to bed and cleaned the kitchen.

She cooked meals, did laundry and tended to the children's needs. She slept on the floor in between their beds. She did not have a single day off in 15 months.

She was hired because of the child development skills she learned as a teacher in her native Philippines. Yet she earned just $1.27 an hour.

Anna's story, documented in a groundbreaking statistical report on U.S. domestic workers released Tuesday, is not uncommon. It said Anna was part of a system of invisible workers - mostly women, mostly minorities and increasingly immigrant - who enable many Americans to function in their own lives.

Nannies, house cleaners and caregivers play a central role in the U.S. economy, the report said, but hidden from public view, they are not compensated adequately and are often abused.

It found that low pay was a systemic problem in the domestic work industry - 23% of domestic workers are paid below the state minimum wage - and few receive any benefits such as health insurance or paid sick days. For live-in workers who are closest to their employers, the situation is worse - 67 % of them are paid below minimum wage.

The Fair Labor Standards Act, which guarantees minimum wage, overtime and sick and vacation pay, does not apply to domestic workers.

"Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work" documents serious and widespread mistreatment of domestic workers in the United States, said Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which helped conduct the research.

Poo said she found it devastating and painful that such a huge percentage of domestic workers make less than minimum wage.

"The upshot is that the workers that we have to take care of our families and homes don't earn enough," she said. "They work in extremely unpredictable and vulnerable conditions. And that's not good for anyone."

Domestic work in America carries the legacy of slavery with its divisions of labor along lines of race and gender, the report said.

The problems also stem from a history of women's work being devalued, said the report's co-author Nik Theodore, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"It's often not regarded as work," he said.

It's not far-fetched to liken some situations to modern-day slavery where workers are isolated in people's homes, coerced into back-breaking labor, Theodore said.

"Working behind closed doors, beyond the reach of personnel policies, and often without employment contracts, they are subject to the whims of their employers," the report said. "Domestic workers often face issues in their work environment alone, without the benefit of co-workers who could lend a sympathetic ear.

What distinguishes domestic workers from others is their personal relationship with their employers, making the abuses all the more baffling, the report said.

Hailed as the first of its kind, the survey was based on interviews with 2,086 domestic workers from 71 countries in 14 metropolitan areas across the United States. It was funded by the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and the Alexander Soros Foundation.

Poo said now that the data is finally available, policy changes need to happen.

The number of domestic workers in the United States increased in the past few years to 726,437, according to the U.S. Census, though Tuesday's report suggested that number was far higher since the Census Bureau does not take into account workers placed by agencies or those who work for private cleaning companies such as Merry Maids. Undocumented workers are also probably undercounted in the census.

"Both U.S.-born and immigrant domestic workers, predominately women of color, work in an array of circumstances," the report said.

"A few staff the homes of the terrifically wealthy, serving the 1% in homegrown, contemporary versions of 'Upstairs/Downstairs' and 'Downton Abbey.' Many, many more work in the homes of busy, middle-class professionals who have sufficient income and wealth to hire help to do the chores that would otherwise consume their limited time."

Others assist people of lesser incomes, stopping in to clean or help an elderly person with chores.

But many domestic workers struggle to take care of their own families, the report said. It found that 60% of domestic workers in America spend more than half their income on rent or mortgage payments; 20% said there were times in the month before they were interviewed that there was no food to eat in their homes.

Live-in workers earned less than those who did not, the report said.  Live-in nannies earned a median wage of $6.76 an hour compared with $11.55 for those who lived elsewhere. Live-in caregivers made $7.69 an hour while others made $10.

The survey found that 65% of domestic workers have no health insurance, and less than 9% work for employers who pay into Social Security.

The report recommends policies that rectify the exclusion of domestic workers from employment and labor laws. Theodore said nannies, house cleaners and caregivers ought to earn minimum wage and be offered benefits. And they deserve a safe and healthy working environment.

Theodore, who co-wrote the report with Linda Burnham of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, said even he was surprised at the depth and breadth of abuse of domestic workers. He interviewed Anna, who since then has left her employer, and spoke with many others in her situation. One woman even told him her employer pulled a knife on her.

It's the kind of thing you hear about in other nations but few think of this kind of thing happening in America.

It raises questions about immigration and the economy, Theodore said. "It speaks to how we as a society are going to care for our children and elderly."

Posted by
Filed under: Discrimination • Economy • How we live • Immigration • Poverty • Women
soundoff (479 Responses)
  1. xirume

    I was raised by a nanny who took care of me from the day I was born. When I grew up, she was not thrown into the gutter. Instead, she became a surrogate grandmother to our kids. She spent the rest of her life in our household and was treated as one of us, never as a hired hand. Granted, she did not earn a lot, but when she died, we all cried at her funeral and she was buried in the family's mausoleum. She died peacefully, in my arms. Every year, she gets fresh flowers and a prayer, just like our blood relatives. When you add it all up, she made less than $1 an hour but she had all she needed and never wanted for more. We loved her like we loved our mother and cherished her just the same. She was our anchor and our steady wind, as we sailed into adulthood. Nannies are not commodities; they are not sub-humans. They are exceptional people who deserve our admiration, respect and loyalty to the end. Either you pay them well or if you can't, then you love them and shelter them like they are your own flesh and blood.

    December 2, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • mariam


      December 2, 2012 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason Royal Hart

      She never wanted more? That sounds very naive and rose-colored to me.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
    • just me

      I hope this is a fake reply

      December 2, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. hmc

    Regardless of what anyone thinks, I think it's pretty ironic that they chose to use a woman carrying a Coach purse on the cover photo for this story. People on both sides of the argument make legitimate points. Yes, there are cases of women being recruited for positions as nannies and domestic workers from countries with much poorer conditions than the US. Yes, there are cases in which these women are abused, controlled, and manipulated. I think it's ridiculous to say that because you know of one case in which this did not happen that it never happens. I don't think that it is unreasonable to say that a nanny should get paid at least minimum wage, factoring in some level of room and board charge. I also think that it is reasonable to say that they should be able to afford healthcare whether that is from an agency or the employer directly. Does the article show the extremes? Of course, but that's the point. I think what is the most important is that these extremes do exist and they shouldn't. It's easy to criticize the article and say that domestic workers could have it worse (which is a real possibility) but you could say that about anyone.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drake

      A totally bias-based comment.

      I am sure you have no idea what is going on in your own country.

      December 2, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • fiveliters

      Psst...look closer. Those are "G"'s,not "C"'s...it's just a Guess bag,not Coach,

      December 2, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      My computer screen isn't that great, but I'm pretty sure that's not a Coach bag. Coach only puts a serif on the top of the C.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
    • AntiCEO

      hmc: everything you said was reasonable.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Florida Worker

    These people are like the ones I see in good restaurants, they run the server to death and leave a stinking 5 to 10% tip. It took too long to fulfill 10 requests at the same time. Maybe something that has nothing to do with the service.
    Can't expect someone to do the work of a stay at home Mom or Dad and pay them $1.27 per hour even with these benefits such as a room and food. Also cable TV. Raising 2 or 3 kids is not an easy job.?

    December 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • momzna

      If my memory serves me well, Ron Perelman (of the Revlon fame) paid $96,000/year to the babysitter for his 4 year old daughter. The lady had a PhD in literature and worked a few hours a day. I guess, it depends on who do you work for.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Josee

    Nobody forces them to work. If you don't like the pay, don't take the job. |d|ots.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eriberto Aguilar

      And if they don't work, people like you complain that they don't work. If you want them to work, and if you really think working is one's prime source of dignity in our society, then have the class and dignity to support them being paid a living wage.

      December 2, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Behjat

      At least they have enough pride to take these jobs no one want in order to support their family. Without the domestics, who would make the ultra rich function in their day to day life?

      December 2, 2012 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. Margaret

    I have a neighbor who cleans houses, she gets no health insurance and no paid benefits. It is hard backbreaking work. My cousin worked for Merry Maids, and believe me they are not that merry. She had to beg people to put the dog out, large ones or cage them. They asked her to clean all sorts of things like stuffed animal trophies. They let the dog in right after she cleaned the floor and had to do it again. They asked her to clean out their refrigerator. When they asked her to give the customers fliers saying they would clean their motor homes she finally quit. The article is more right than wrong. She now cleans in a hospital where she at least gets some benefits. But now she catches colds and other diseases.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TK

    there should be some regulations with domestic workers and they should be paid minimum wage at the least and what this article shows if true is that there are a lot of wealthy and middle class people with very bad manners, ethics and morals

    December 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      And whose children are a distant priority.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      this is not a real news article. CNN wrote this on a slow Saturday because they cleverly figured it would be a hot spot–and it has! so many people getting riled up. don't be so easily manipulated. Oh, and for those folks to think having a nanny means that you are not parenting, you know, the pioneer women made their children's own clothes, and never ate out and grew their own food. Now, you go to work while your kid's in school and buy their clothes at JC Penney and Target, and every Sunday you go out for brunch. Are you a lesser parent because you are taking advantage of conveniences and resources? having a nanny is no different.

      December 2, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. BobJ

    It must be hard for you conservatives because more and more reality is not in agreement with your view of the world.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lou

    The White Oppressor / Brown Victim narrative must be maintained at all costs.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      It's not a narrative, it's called history. Probably too hard to tell from your ivory tower.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • 123elle

      The article say nothing about the nationalities of the worst abusers/exploiters of their domestic help. I would not assume that those bosses are native-born Americans, but rather may be people from other countries who are accustomed to their servants being treated autocratically. I know there is a huge percentage of people here in Silicon Valley who have grown wealthy in the high-tech industry, but the home countries they came from are quite poor; domestic workers from those countries would be at risk of the sort of treatment the article describes even though they are in America. Of course I'm generalizing here, butI would be interested in a breakdown of the origins of the abusers.

      December 2, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jay

    And it's still more than she would earn in Philippines

    December 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LouAZ

    Hey, it is the American Way. Indentured Slavery.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jamie

    I find this so sad. Shame on these employers (if you can even call them that) for caring so little about their children that they would take such extreme shortcuts with their childcare. At the end of the day, your children are your greatest legacy....not the house, the boat, the job, the foundations, the charity work....YOUR CHILDREN.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • popeye1128

      It's the new American way. Make babies then let someone else take care of them. Hey, they'll see you on the weekends if they're lucky.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      Child abuse happens in all circles. You think neglect only happens to the poor? A rich parent can be emotionally abusive and neglectful too–what they do is, they just pretend that they didn't have kids. However, unlike the poor, they can afford to hire someone to make sure that their kids don't end up in the gutter or dead, and the parents jailed. But having a nanny doesn't mean you are a bad parent–you can be a fantastic parent. A nanny is just another resource for your child, like private school, or exotic vacations. Hey, some people use boarding school to cover up bad parenting too. But that's not not a knock on boarding schools either.

      December 2, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. Large and in Charge

    Keep tellin' yourself that. Along with, "I bet rich people are miserable all the time, because money can't buy happiness." Actually, happy people are happy, rich or poor. I met plenty of rich happy people. For them, money makes them happier! And they have plenty of great memories too. Having a good nanny, along with well-adjusted, non-abusive happy rich parents just means...you have more people around you who love you!!! it's even BETTER! Have you ever met people who grew up with nannies? I have. My mom had a nanny (in another country–it's common there). Then, she became household help when she fell on hard times. I've seen it from all angles, baby. And let me tell you, as a happy person myself (rich or poor), I'd take happy and rich over happy and poor any day!

    December 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jbo

    Put an add on Craigslist for: Full Time nanny. Midtown Manhattan. Hours: 10 hours 7am-7pm. Pay: Crisp $20 bill every night.

    Do you think you would get some good responses? Just not sure I buy this articles facts...

    December 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kevo

    Adrian, I agree. That one example is bad. I hope that gets fixed. But this article presents this issue like it's systemic and we should all be shocked. Welcome to the club.....this is normal life. Making around 8 bucks an hour and spending a lot of money on housing. No crap....everyone does this. Why should we feel bad for nannies?

    "But many domestic workers struggle to take care of their own families, the report said. It found that 60% of domestic workers in America spend more than half their income on rent or mortgage payments; 20% said there were times in the month before they were interviewed that there was no food to eat in their homes.

    Live-in workers earned less than those who did not, the report said. Live-in nannies earned a median wage of $6.76 an hour compared with $11.55 for those who lived elsewhere. Live-in caregivers made $7.69 an hour while others made $10."

    December 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. j

    Are you very upset?
    Please take a moment and google: How much do nannies cost in NYC?

    They make ok money. So do dog walkers. So do house cleaners. In fact, most services are more than you think in NYC. If they were only $1.27 an hour we could all afford help 24/7. What costs that little an hour? Not even farm field labor. Weird journalism here...

    December 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiCEO

      Turn out you too can pay less than minimum wage. You'll have to commit multiple crimes to do it - immigration and labor law violations and various conspiracies. But you can do it if you really want to. Contact Filipino staffing agencies and see what they can come up with.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • momzna

        The website of the Department of Labor states that "Occupations such as babysitting are not subject to the minimum wage law."

        December 2, 2012 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  16. x man

    Most of the domestic help in our community is women who need money so they clean peoples houses. Generally it is people we know at least somwhat and responded to a facebook posting offering this. Most that "employ" these helpers don't really need the service but it is nice to come home to a cleaner house and feel like we are helping our friends. If they demanded as much as I make tax free, I'm afraid I and people in the middle class would stop the interaction

    December 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jc

    This article is hysterical! The poor minorities being taken advantage of by the super wealthy GOP. First of all, I know quite a few ppl who have live in help, and they pay their staff way better than $11 an hour. Second, if this is the position the worker applies for, you cannot get upset when the family doesn't give them health benefits. That would be incredibly expensive, and barely worth having the staff member. But most importantly, if the woman was making $1.67 an hour, that's her fault for agreeing to it and staying there. "They treat me bad" the woman says. "Did you say anything?" "No" she says. Well if ur going to lie there and take it then its time to grow a pair. Seriously.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • rleroy1967

      Exactly. And if you all burn to death at a factory making clothes for Walmart, Target, Pennies...then it is only your fault for being there. Look for work somewhere safe. If you don't like the heat then get out of the kitchen.

      Signed Mr Sarcasm

      December 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • yo yo

        Jc was talking about pay, not working conditions. No need to go over the top with the factory fire deal.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim Roberts

      You, Jc, are hysterical. As are all the people claiming she is receiving room and board. How is living where you work, 16 hours per day, seven days per week, considered "room & board?" Historically, it is called abuse. Oh, she can quit whenever she wants? Yeah, that is justice. Quit an abusive job, find one only marginally better, quit it, find one worse, quit it. That sounds like capitalist justice to me.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • yo yo

        She's a teacher for crying out loud, obviously educated enough to know the difference between a decent job and a crappy one, if she doesn't, I don't think you'd want that kind of teacher teaching your kids.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  18. whateva

    If you look at the side of the image there is a copyright for Getty Images. They sell stock photography.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  19. rleroy1967

    Seems about right. More proof that people working at Walmart or flipping burgers somewhere are making to much money. Anyone that doesn't like their pay or benefits should look for another job.

    Signed, Mr. Sarcasm

    December 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |

    I was surprised to read this. They practically form the child they are tending to. I've never been the type who could pay someone nothing and eat steak for dinner......just doesn't seem right. I'd think it would be better to pay someone who you trust well and make them part of the family. Makes better sense to me.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  21. whateva

    If you look at the side of the image there is a copyright for Getty Images. They sell stock photography.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Cynthia

    You need to be reported. Hate is hate. Hating wealthy is just as bad as hating the poor.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Jyi

    If they are receiving free accomodation and food then obviously they would need less income. I'm surprised anyone would agree to work for $1.27 though.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  24. enough

    Enough with the Coach bag comments. It looks like it's a fake, and even if it were real, could be had for less than 25 dollars. I'm sure there are nannies (illegal, most likely) in this situation-if you do the math, they are paid about 853 a month, which also does not take into account her room and board. Sleeping between the kids on the floor however, would have been crazy...not having basic privacy by having her own space is just wrong.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • momzna

      It is a stock picture, which the journalist found in a CNN's image library. It could be a scene from some soap opera or a reality show about the Buckingham Palace.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  25. Ken

    This story is absolutely false. I live in new york and everyone i know pays there nanny 15-20 dollars per hr. If this story is true it is certainlt an exception and not the rule.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      Oh Ken, I live in NYC as well and not everyone pays them $15 to $20 an hour. This isn't be exception to the rule. You need to travel the country and see it for yourself. Folks think they can treat people as less than and its wrong. If they are here legally or not, it doesn't make it right to pay them crap and treat them worse and expect it to be ok. Pay them well or not at all. Really, most people should be able to attend to themselves and not the other way around.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • jbo

        I live here as well. Brooklyn, actually. $15-$20 is the norm. There is a deal for siblings. Most don't live with the families and get around $30,000 per year tax free. The big deal is that like 90% don't pay SS taxes. Most of the nannies in my hood have a daily allowance and basically kick it at coffee shops and play spaces with other nanny friends. Most seem pretty lax, yet caring enough.

        The $1.27 is not true. If it was my wife would be in a much better mood! I can barely afford a dog walker when I leave town. Thats $!6-$26 per half hour walk...

        December 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Cynthia

    People who do not pay their domestic help (other than highschool babysitters, I did that when I was young) a liveable wage with health insurance are slave owners in my book. I clean my own toilets, thank you. I will not be a slave owner.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      I'm not so sure you have to provide health benefits but that really depends if it is temporary work or not. Some people only do this one day a week. Pay is certainly important though.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Margaret

      Not everyone is well enough to clean their own houses. My friend has clients who have sever arthritis and one man had alzheimers. But it is not always steady work. Here a lot of the people leave around may and come back in October or November. The last few years when the housing bubble broke she lost a lot of customers.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      what is up with white Americans and them calling everything slavery?!? It's not slavery! Why don't you ask your ancestors what slavery was, Cynthia, I'm sure they will very much disagree with you that the modern day nanny is anything like their slaves. I think you are really minimizing what slavery truly is, when you call what you think is a CRAPPY JOB slavery.

      Slavery is something that is very, very bad, and we've abolished it. working at mcd's is not slavery! having a nasty boss and needing the paycheck is NOT slavery!!! Working less than minimum wage and for unpaid overtime is exploitative and illegal, but once again, NOT SLAVERY!!!

      December 2, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  27. kevo

    did they factor in free room and board? In NY thats worth an additional 2K a month at least. At a fortune 500 exec's house, probably double that.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cynthia

      Most people want their own home, they want their own personal private home life. Living in another person's home is not acceptable for most people.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eriberto Aguilar

      It is NOT worth "at least 2k" a month. Low-wage earners don't pay 2k a month for their cramped, 1Br or efficiency apartments. They don't live in Manhattan. They don't live anywhere near the crapulous, corpulent, excessive arrivés who simply can't find the time to wipe their own kitchen counter, clean their own toilet or make their own bed.

      December 2, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  28. Juan

    To carry all the money she makes!

    December 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  29. AEL

    There are many people that do pay their nannies a fair salary and I am one of them. I pay a huge nanny tax at the end of the year for it. I pay all of her taxes, including federal income tax, social security, and medicare. That's the cost of hiring someone that's legal to work in your home. These people in the article must not be authorized to work legally in the U.S. otherwise they could just go to an agency and find a domestic job at fair market value. Going rate in Houston is $12-$18 per hour, and a lot of people that I have interviewed for a nanny position will not work for less than that. If that woman is here in the U.S legally, then she needs to come to Houston and sign up at the nanny agencies here, and I'm sure she will get a job that pays a fair wage, with paid vacation days and weekends off, etc.... This whole nanny cost is a huge chunk of my income, but I feel it's worth it to have my kids taken care of and picked up from school at 3, since I am working and can't pick them up myself.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • RNmomma

      I agree. I too have a nanny for the days that I work ~ I pay between $12-16 per hour plus unemployment insurance, SS, etc. I do not treat my employees as slaves and am grateful to have them helping with my children. Having a nanny is a huge part of my income, but well worth it. I could not afford to provide them with benefits, and if this were a requirement I would not have a nanny, and then they would have to find employment elsewhere (like at the mall where they would make minimum wage and still not get benefits). I do think that live-in nannies hourly wages are lower because room and board is included; however, this should not mean that they are required to work 70+ hour work weeks and paid for 40 ~ that really is abuse.

      It is really too bad that there are people being treated this poorly ~ especially by people who could easily afford to pay them fairly ...

      December 2, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  30. MissAnneThrope

    "Coach" purses like that are a dime a dozen on the right street if you know the right people in a place like New York City. Not to mention the far more likely possibility that it could have been a gift? A few of my family members were live-in nannies at one time or another (one in New York City, another in Germany) can attest to just how terrible domestic workers such as nannies can be treated. It really is sad.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  31. kay

    I don't know where this research gets its data, but I know domestic help is not that cheap. I am paying my part-time housekeeper, $15 per hour, for three hour days Mon to Fri. I've also paid another lady to help clean my house for $15 per hours. Seems like that's the going rate in Houston.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  32. me

    Because it's probably one of the zillions of knock offs available on the street in any major city. Yes, heap the majority of the blame on the illegal underpaid domestics. Certainly don't hold the employers who never get prosecuted (and probably voted for the GOP) responsible.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  33. doogie

    It's a knockoff.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  34. krehator

    Are you sure it is real?

    December 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  35. ML

    How do you know it wasn't given to her by her wealthy employer or perhaps just a fake knock-off?

    December 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Emily

    If you look closely it's obviously a fake. They cost $5 on the street. Making $2/hr isn't going to afford them luxuries they can't afford.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  37. MK

    It's a knockoff Coach purse... that's the letter G tiled over the purse, not the letter C.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  38. fandancy

    Me: you're an inconsiderate idot.
    You: Who? Me?

    December 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • blade1975

      How am I inconsiderate to their illegal lifestyle, presence here and destroying legal fair wages?

      They did it not me.

      I just don't care when the tard stabs themselves in the eye with a screw driver and demands money cause there was no warning on the side...

      December 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Correctlycenter

    It looks like slavery is alive and well again in America. Taking advantage of the illegal immigration slave pool is just too good to pass up for some of the ubers and mini-me ubers who are too busy, lazy, ignorant or self-centered to raise their own children. What a shame...

    December 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • blade1975

      Let them slave!

      They want this world of illegal labor.

      It's not like Africa, child labor in China ect...

      This is their own making. Let them suffer.

      They can have the American dream when they get green cards.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • me

        I'd almost buy your argument, but I'll bet you've never uttered one word against those who illegally employ workers.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • blade1975


        You kidding? I'd not only have them shut down I'd have the government come in seize their assests and throw the top brass in jail.

        Gotta not only choke the illegal workers off but their illegal paying businesses.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  40. matt

    Wow you're a freaking monster... Are you that ignorant? Immigrant workers do the jobs YOU don't want to do. Would you like to go blow leaves, pick crops, or take care of kids 15 hours a day, all whole getting paid under minimum wage? You, sir, are the one who should kill yourself.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • blade1975

      No don't think I will.

      Again, they hate our country and our laws then want new laws to protect their illegal life styles?

      Let them slave.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Strider

    Blade1975: I'm a idiot!

    Me: Uh..yeah we know...

    December 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • blade1975

      truth hurts eh?

      December 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  42. JohnDavid

    no, it's not the rish people that are a problem. It'e the ignorant people without morals. You and the fortune 500 exec have one thing in common and apparently, it's not money.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  43. blade1975

    Nice one, and who makes all the jobs after?

    Oh and when they are dead your turn will come up depending on how much ya make.

    See how that doesn't work.

    Silly child and your kill all the bad people durrrh mentality.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Doc

    Ok, they certainly shouldn't be treated like animals and there has to be time off, but if you are given room and board as part of your job, you don't need minimum wage because you don't have pay for your housing & food. So, let's compare apples to apples, shall we? You can't take someone who lives in the home of the employer and compare that someone working a job they drive to every day.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • nap

      Yes, but many of these workers have families who they rather stay with and need money and health insurance.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Doc

        Ok, great. Are they being forced to do this particular job? Or to be here illegally? I mean, THEY need to take SOME responsibility and WE need to not treat them like less-than-human. It's a TWO WAY street.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • blade1975

      Hey all could be avoided with a green card!

      December 1, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doc

      Wow – nice name calling. All I said was let's compare comparables. The article acts like having room & board doesn't matter AT ALL. I also said let's not treat them like animals. I never said, "Yea! This is awesome!" I think maybe a deep breath would help your blood pressure.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Tom

    So why don\'t the nannies just quit and work at Walmart or McDonald's for a 600% pay increase?

    What will happen if they change the law if half of the nannies now employed will lose their job because the families employing them will not want to pay them.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ML

      GOD forbid their wealthy employer pay them a reasonable living wage.. It would be less money for them, after all, effectively making them 'less wealthy'.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  46. popeye1128

    The whole article is pretentious. The real middle class can not afford any kind of domestic help on a regular basis. The real middle class makes $50-75K a year. If you can afford a full or part-time employee, you are not middle class. My opinion and I'm sure many will disagree. Won't change my opinion.
    The middle class label has been extended much too far into the well off.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • blade1975

      Your still ignorant and ill experienced in the world.

      You know nothing of cost of living and the local markets of housing, rent, ect.

      Being paid 50k in LA equal to getting about 30k in AZ.

      Stop posting it's really sad.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • popeye1128

        Your posts are also sad. I said it was my opinion. Still feel people that make $300k plus are pretty well off. I don't care where they live.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • cc

        "Your ignorant" ha ha ha that is priceless!!!!

        December 2, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Skeptical

      You're talking NYC now, which is different than the rest of the country. Both parents need to work to raise kids in NY, unless you're incredibly rich. Apartments start at $1000/sf. Middle class people have nannies here.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • joe

        Maybe move?

        December 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Skeptical

        Why? This is our home. We choose to live in an awesome place, but it costs money. So we both work, and we have a nanny. Who, for the record, we pay very fairly, like everyone else we know.

        This is a lot of nonsense over a fabricated story. I'm kicking myself for even getting involved with such a string of nonsense.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • RG

      $50K a year is part of the 1% in my opinion. There's no way you can call yourself middle class if you have that much money.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Paul

    This article is fabricated! Where can I find one? we're looking for a nanny

    December 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Pat

    You wanted to flatten the global labor market, this is what you get. Everyone is getting poorer, and it's only just begun.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jessica

    This article is ridiculous with a major agenda – our nanny receives 15/hr off the books, as do all the other nannies in our neighborhood.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simba

      You're doing it wrong then.. perhaps you need to have a 'talk' with your nanny and inform her that executives of Fortune 500 companies only pay their nannies $1.87 therefore she should expect a significant paycut soon.
      If she dares complain then you threaten to fire her.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  50. pam

    they should be paid at least minimum wage, with benefits. Any family that can afford a nanny should be ashamed of themselves if they are paying third world wages.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • RobbD

      Problem is they have No shame.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  51. nanny E

    As a retired Nanny I found this very interesting. Ten years ago I made $8. per hour X six- ten hour days. I lived in, had my own very nice room, and use of a family car. Sunday was my day off, unless we were on one of many trips. I was not a young girl... this lifestyle saved me after a bad divorce! My children were in college, and it was over twenty years since I had been in college. I love children so this was perfect for me. By the way, I am a white woman, born and raised in N.J. All nannies should be registered with the state, have benefits, and be cleared by the FBI ! I was, and found work easily after doing this myself. Care for the children And the nannies!

    December 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  52. starr

    How embarrassing that this how we value our children in this country! We pay doctors and dentists 200-400 per hour, we pay plumbers and electricians 50-150 per hour, we pay the yard man 45-75 per hour-but we pay less than 2 bucks an hour to the people RAISING OUR KIDS???? And then we abuse them.
    It is appalling.
    These same people pay hundreds for a new suit, drop a grand on a sport event, the opera, or broadway tickets, spend tens of thousands on vacations and never mind what they pay for their houses, their cars...but they can only afford that for their kids??? Shows where their priorities are. And then they are surprised when they dont get quality help, and are shocked when a nanny turns out to be a psychopath who stabs their children to death.
    Galling. Raise your own kids, people, or dont have them in the first place.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Tough Love

    Let's see now, that nanny works 7 days/wk., 16/hrs. day, 365 weeks per year, at $1.27/hr. Then her annual wages are 365 x 16 x $1.27 = $7,416.80.

    Personally, I believe that the Fortune 500 executive treating his help this way should be outed and publicly ridiculed. Doing so might make others treat the household help better ... AND pay a fair wage..

    December 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  54. The_Truth

    jimmy, you're a very angry and ignorant person. Maybe you're one of the ones who had a nanny and abused her. Well, many of those workers who are immigrants were likely falsely lured to America to work on the pretense they would earn decent and fair wages, but when they got here the the rules immediately changed and they were likely trapped with no way to escape.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Lance Atkinson

    I would like to say a minimum wage should be applied for every job in the United States it should be big enough to afford a nice place in a good area with good food entertainment and a safe clean environment

    December 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      I'd say a liveable wage. If you want nice then you need to do more than a regular job for it. That's what college is supposed to be for. Liveable = earn enough to provide for food, water, a roof over head and a few other necessities such as transportation. College is supposed to allow one to earn more to live in the nice place with nice things and nice car etc.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • momzna

      I would like to say that a minimum revenue and a minimum profit should be provided to every American corporation.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  56. Christina

    Our live-out nanny receives $18/hour, the going rate in Manhattan is $15-$20/hour, but there are some that work for very wealthy families making more than that. This article cannot be correct and is misleading. And finding a Filipino nanny trained at as a nurse is like hitting the jackpot and they could certainly command quite easily through Craigslist a massive pay bump with another family.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skeptical

      Bingo. I never post on anything, but I was so outraged by this that I felt I had to. This article is complete, patent, wholesale nonsense.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  57. RangerDOS

    This is a bogus report: It's not taken by any department of the government, it's done by a special interest group. TAKE IT WIT A LARGE GRAIN OF SALT. CNN , what type of non vetted junk are putting out here?

    December 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Jason Glugla

    The rich get richer as wages drop and those who still have jobs wait for them to be shipped to China or India. You didn't think the United States could become a 3rd world country? It is happening before your eyes.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • gwedwards

      If you make $32,000 per year, you're among the world's top 1% of wage earners. Americans make up 50% of that top 1%.

      Yup, we're headed to being 3rd world alright.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Rio Ginger

    $1.27 an hr and she can afford a coach bag? Isn't that a coach bag in the picture?
    I do feel for them though. No one deserves to sleep on the floor when they are looking after spoiled rich kids. How inhumane are these executives? do they treat their employees like that? I say expose them, start printing their names and companies they work for. Why doesn't the Govt impose a minimum wage for nannies? Then if the nannies want to accept less it becomes their problems and should not complain.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Coach knockoffs are more prvalent than the real thing in California and New York

      December 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jje

      It's actually Guess...not Coach...

      December 1, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • EB

      Relax. The Coach bag is either a fake, or a cast-off from her employer. And yes, some executives do treat their employees like that. And their nasty little children grow up and do the same. Some people have the nerve to think that they treat their help "just like family" and that the help is happy.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Avis

      What makes you think she purchased the Coach purse. My mother worked as a maid all her life and she was given expensive clothes, furniture and other items her employer no longer wanted or needed. I wore used clothes that were given to me that their daughers no longer wanted. I was well dressed. Even to this day I rather wear used quality clothing than new bargain items. My mother's employer was good to her and us!

      December 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • whateva

      If you look at the side of the image there is a copyright for Getty Images. They sell stock photography.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  60. The_Truth

    My mother was a domestic worker in the 1960s. She and others like her only earned 5 bucks a day plus bus fair. They were all mostly always African-American women. They too didn't get to pay into social security, and unless they were married, when they were old enough to qualify for social security there was nothing there for them. That's why SSI was created. For those who worked well below a living wage, and never earned enough to pay into the social security fund.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tough Love

      That's false, an employer that never paid SS contributions on behalf of household employee staff can be forced by SS to make up all past non-payments. If you've worked for a household for 20 years, there will be boatloads of neighbors who will attest to that.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  61. CyberForce

    Or maybe take care of your own kids?

    December 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  62. chris

    who's the racist here? You are automatically assuming they are all illegal

    December 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • blade1975

      Cause genius....durrr

      Legal people get minimum wage...or can bring such problems to court...

      guess who can't?

      THAT'S RIGHT! Try again...

      December 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Name*Eve

    Where are these women working?!?! That's ridiculous I am a nanny and I DO NOT make $1.27 an hour. I make minimum 15 times more than that. I also have plenty of friends that work as a nanny and house-keepers and they don't make that little either. Doesn't make any sense. Where did they get this number from? Maybe these ladies need to call me so I can hook them up with a good employer. Ridiculous.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnDavid

      Though they don't say it I suspect that this lady is in the US illegally. They got the brilliant idea to hire a filipino lady, had her come in on a tourist visa. She can't report her situation because she'll be deported nro can she go look for another job.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Yes It's Slavery

        Pretty much this. Many women from Philippines are well educated and have good command of English and Spanish. She would make much much more with her qualifications if she had the papers. Problem is Mr. Executive who is obviously skirting the rules and keeping an unpaid servant to watch the kids. What a fine example he's showing to them.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  64. ronpaul2012

    this article is way off, nannies make great $$$ , its all about free market system, cnn obviously messed with the numbers to brighten up the headline, terrible journalism, give me a break!

    December 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  65. doubtful

    And yet the "nanny" making $1.27 per hour pictured in the middle of the photo carries a COACH handbag. I can't afford a coach handbag...

    December 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      You can if you live in California near an outlet store

      December 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jules

      @doubtful : thats not a coach bag, those are G's not C's.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • whateva

      Ever hear of Getty Images? Stock Photography?

      December 1, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Samuel Vicker

    It's extremely sad. I mean they're still humans and need to have a shot at least a semi-decent life.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Shauna

    A fact check for the author, who apparently doesn't do as much research as one should on an article of this type.

    From the article: The Fair Labor Standards Act, which guarantees minimum wage, overtime and sick and vacation pay, does not apply to domestic workers.

    From the DOL website: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave or federal or other holidays. These benefits are matters of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative).

    December 1, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      well, that makes it all better

      December 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  68. morseeva

    A little grammar and spelling wouldn't hurt.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  69. chris

    You are in serious denial. Your individual situation that you created has little to do with the reality of the widespread abuse taking place in this country. I have seen it first hand in the South and in California. It's so easy to offer desperate people employment that seems so much better than what they had in their own country. But in this country it is just taking advantage of their situation and giving them a new false hope. Good for you for paying a fair wage, but you are not the norm

    December 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  70. popeye1128

    This article is ultimately about class distinction. I feel the the bar on income as related to middle class has been raised way too high. People making $300K plus are not middle class in my book. Don't care where they live.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Joe

    I do not feel bad for them at all. They chose that profession. If you do not like the job or the pay, then change careers / jobs.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • daniel

      This S&P executive was a sick person who exploited another human being just for the sake of torturing and taking pleasure out of someone's poverty or helplessness. Before we are legal or illegal residents of a country we are human beings and we should respect this fact first.The bill of rights mentions about equality of men (the word citizen is missing). It would have been better to deport an illegal than to exploit them.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Florida Worker

      Great idea Joe. With all the opportunities available these days of LOW UNEMPLOYMENT, no problem finding better jobs!!!
      Have a heart, please.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  72. DSherwin

    I'm curious to know where these domestics live and work. I'd be willing to bet that most are in the midwest and northeast. Wherever it is it's akin to slavery.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lola

      Midwest and Northeast, that would be your guess? No, most cheap domestics are in the Southwest and Texas.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • kay

        IWhat are you talking about? am in Texas, and I am paying my part-time housekeeper $15 per hour. No, I am not an oil executive. My husband and I are working professionals who need domestic help.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lola

        What is your point,? So you pay $15, some people pay more others pay much less? Logically, why would there be cheaper and a larger number of domestics in the Southwest, CA and Texas vs Midwest and the NorthEast?

        December 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      It's very interesting...the U.S. is one country where the collective mindset finds the idea of maids and domestic help very awkward to consider. Let me tell you, Europe, Africa, the Americas (with the exception of Yours Truly and Canada), and Asia all have no problems with having MAIDS AND HELP. Being foreign born, and traveled outside of the U.S., I think it's because this country is still grappling with slavery-guilt, along with the fact that the founding fathers were all cast-offs, outsiders, and adventurers, of sorts. So, we have no royalty, abhor class disntinctions, and run away from having someone wait on you hand and foot. Well, GET OVER IT. Having domestic help is not slavery. Slavery is very specific and doesn't exist anymore in the U.S. The aftermath does, but not slavery itself. Stop getting confused.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lola

        We had maids, nannies and handymen when I was kid living abroad, I hated it. Hope it falls out of favor in the US. Until recently only the rich had domestics, now they are quite affordable and many regular people use their services. A large servant class in the US would be depressing and it would make our country look 3rd world.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Yougetwhatyoupayfor

    I wouldn't hired someone for 1.27 an hour, not if I care about my kids. Why would anyone do that? No references, just hoping you can get cheap help that is reliable? Doing that is like.... hiring a driver that doesn't have a valid license.. Too risky if you ask me.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralph M

      Risky? Crazy is more like it. Look at what that nanny did to those two kids in NY a couple of weeks ago.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Igg Bee

      It doesn't exactly happen that way.

      You hire somebody as a "live in" nanny, offering them a legal hourly wage with a "benefit" of "room and board" which is part of their "compensation package." Thing is, the room and board becomes more like a prison sentence than a benefit. Live-in nannies accept jobs believing they'll only work 8-hour days....with breaks, weekends, and holidays off.

      But pretty soon, the kids rely on them for everything a parent should provide, and the parents/employers demand more and more of them. Cooking. Cleaning. Errands. Sewing. Party planning. Household repairs. Their job becomes 24/7 without any additional compensation; and that's how it works out to such appalling hourly wages.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Lei

    Did the hourly rate for live-in workers correctly account for the cost of lodging and food, in addition to the hourly pay? In general living nannies keep everything they make because room and board is included, you can't said that about most jobs out there.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • tc4012

      Of course not – that wouldn't fit the agenda of the people that did the study, nor CNN's agenda. What do you think the going rate to rent a room on 5th ave is?

      December 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I agree with the point. If you take into account room and board, you're probably looking at more like $5 an hour. The example in the article though, said she didn't actually have a room and slept on the floor inbetween the kids. We would need to consider that as well. That's what makes this difficult to guage. On the one hand, she is living in a 5th ave apartment and probably eating some pretty decent food. On the other hand, she sleeps on the floor and works 16 hours a day/7 days a week. *shrug* I don't know: I see both sides of this one.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • mary

        The way it reads doesn't say to me she slept on the floor between the kids on a regular basis...I don't think anyone does that. But as a mom I've done it a few times on bad nights. Goes with the territory.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      wow...and what do you do with that $19.20 a day (assuming you work 16 hour days) of massive profit? Buy a car? A house. Health insurance?

      December 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  75. chalie16

    @Brenda, I'm sorry but it's hard to have sympathy for your situation (not that it was asked). Why in God's name would you go to college and take out student loans to do so to make $2.25 and hour?

    December 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Ginny Autions

    This article is bogus...

    December 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • g

      completely, they are being given room and board worth over 40k a year plus benefits. they make more than the intern who wrote this article

      December 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • nisroc00

      I it bogus and if so how. why post if you do not explain yourself. If US Nannies are getting $1.27 cent an hour for looking after brats I would say it is raise time. My mother was working as a Nanny in Canada for $3.00/kid a kid and that at ratio of 5 kids/nanny.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  77. blogo

    I wonder how many of these female workers do "domestic" work for the husbands on the side (Schwarzenegger comes to mind). Probably for a little more than $1.50/hour.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      a very small percentage probably.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  78. popeye1128

    Many of these responses are making me feel I'm lower class. What a wake up call.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Lola

    Well, it's the dark side of illegal immigration. Other immigrants bring their own domestics with them from other countries, they get no pay, they are actual slaves. When the family is done with them they send them to live with another family. In CA many people have nannies, landscapers and "nice girls" who come by every week to clean the house, all are illegal and low paid. The slave owners, I mean the clients, claim they are very supportive of amnesty and immigrant reform as long as they get to continue to exploit their cheap labor.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Molosludgefoot

      Here's a solution. Have the illegals stay in their own country and they wont be taken advantage of. Sounds like California has a serious problem

      December 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lola

        More like a serious addiction. They also are handy men and do construction on their homes.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cynthia

      Wow, that is disgusting and disgraceful. Those slave owners should go to jail.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lola

        Yeah right. They live in sanctuary cities, everyone looks the other way when it comes to high number of illegals, in return, low paid workers mow their lawns and clean their toilets. Nothing will change that. People are quite lazy and like having the luxury.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Bob

    The funny part about having nannies (Listen up GOP) is that 99 percent of them work for the RICH....Raise their taxes to what there were under Clinton and those before him. Bush did us no favors.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ginny Autions

      Liar. Just a Liar. 99% for the rich? Not enough rich people (what is your definition anyway) to employ all the immigrant wannabe nannies in America...

      December 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • popeye1128

        I think there are at least enough that make $300K or more a year after taxes/deductions. That is pretty well off in my book no matter where you live. Not middle class to me.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevo

      Bob, did you know 78.47% of statistics are made up. 99.1% of democrats have nannies. that's more than the GOP 99%.

      Also, what's your point? This is not a politic post but really, what's your point? Raise the taxes on your so called RICH so then can't afford to pay nannies? So nannies now won't have jobs? What is your point?

      December 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Brenda

    As a veteran au pair with 25 years under my belt and a degree in child development from Michigan State University, I only make $2.25 an hour. The payments I make towards my student loans aren't even enough to cover the interest. I'll be in debt for the rest of my diaper cleaning, God forsaken life, but it's all I know and I love it.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Hooligan

    please note how nowhere in the article (that I saw) did it say this woman or these women are American Citizens.

    Not saying that makes it acceptable... but no American woman would take a job like that if she had her papers in order.

    Not by a longshot.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  83. skeboo

    Not sure I understand this article and the postings. We have someone who helps us two days (16 hrs) per week. She earns $21 per hour, has holidays off and takes from 3-6 weeks off in paid time per year. We pay the employer share of social security and medicare, and provide a holiday bonus. Can't understand why anyone would think providing substantially less would be acceptable?

    December 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • popeye1128

      You're not my idea of middle class.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • skeboo

        No clue whether we are middle class or not. We watch sales, clip coupons, do without, but if we hire someone to help with something we cannot do because we are working 70 hours per week, we want to pay a living wage.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • blade1975

        You have no idea what middle class is. Since you obviously never lived in many areas before.

        In Houston texas making 15 dollars a hour and having a 500 dollar apartment is a good deal.

        That same 15 buck a hour job in California with a cost of living so high the same apartment is 1200 bucks....

        Cost of living... your not what I consider educated or experienced in the world.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • skeboo

        In response to balde's comments below, I've lived in several states as well as overseas. My point is simply that as parents, we would rather provide the parenting oursleves. But if because we are working 70 hours per week to make ends meet and cannot tag team to fill in every gap, when we fill in the gaps, we should pay well when we entrust someone with our kids.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      What you fail to realize, you are one of the better people, a majority employers don't abide by you're standards. Unfortunately a lot of the wealthy want this cheap service, and that is why illegal immigration is so bad, now you know who controls our country.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • dean

      I commend you for doing the right thing with your employee, but agree, you probably aren't squeezing by on 50,000 dollars a year either.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  84. asche

    I agree. In addition to the wage they also get a place to stay usually and access to much of what the family itself gets access to from the home. This arrangement has worked for a long time and the nannies aren't exactly dragged off the street and forced to become nannies. They agree to it.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Chris

    Find me a nanny in San Diego that works for 1.27 an hour. If you are going to write an article, include the cost of rent, utilities and food in their salary. I bet her salary is closer to $20 an hour if you include that. In San Diego, you can't even find a housekeeper without papers that will work for less than $10 an hour. This article sucks.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      Actually if you add in rent and food and utilities they might be making $3.75/hour. And apparently some of them get to sleep on the floor and don't get paid vacations or medical insurance.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiCEO

      Chris, they aren't finding these nannies online. They are recruited overseas usually and brought to work here illegally expressly for their employers, who now have total power over them...speak up about the working conditions or lack of pay and you're fired and deported. And maybe they should be deported, and their masters locked up for conspiracy and violation of various laws.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  86. AntiCEO

    That's like saying slavery must not be happening because you don't see slaves offering their services online.

    They are hiring illegal immigrants through back-channels. These aren't women finding the jobs on craigslist. Recruiters in poor areas might the Phillipines might say "You'll make $500 a month" and the women get on a plane with a tourist visa, then begin illegally working.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  87. withkidsalso

    You are correct...websites will not advertise nanny positions for $2/hour. I think you've missed the point of the article.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • withkids

      Yeah, I guess I'm a bit frazzled since we can't afford any childcare or cleaning help, with our 6 figure household income, since we'd have to pay $20/hr, like all of our friends and neighbors are paying.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Brian Scott Gregory

    I'd say that's too much money. In fact, I think that inflation's natural counterbalance requires forced depreciation, which it only makes sense to decrease the minimum wage across the board. That's what I'm doing as President.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Selmers

    What? You mean they get free food and board? Well, lets see, thats about $2500/mo divided by 50 hours a week, thats 200 hours a month, thats $12.50/hr + $1.50 cash, thats $14/hr, more than full time, consistent.. And they complain? Yup, that's Obama's America.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Selmers

      Apparently, being an idiot is still superior to being an Obama supporter.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoCr@p

      Must be using GOP math

      December 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • withkids

      I whole-heartedly agree with your post, except I voted for Obama. 🙂

      December 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • dean

      Obama was the right choice for America. I don't know if you are a wall street banker or just hang out at Walmart, but anyone should be able to see who will be there for ALL Americans, not just the priveliged few.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jrams

      You might consider that employers who choose to have domestic workers live within their homes are actually receiving more service than those who have domestic workers visit their homes. Think about it – you're essentially requiring someone to be available the entire day, from early morning until the evening, doing an incredible variety of work everything from childcare, to meal preparation to cleaning. Having room & board covered by their employers is not necessarily adequate compensation for the sheer amount of work required of these women. In addition, these employers have immense control over the lives of workers that live within their homes, increasing the risk of exploitative abuse. Imagine a job where there was never-ending overtime, and no avenue of recourse... except quitting & starting another similar job. I'm not saying that everyone who employs domestic workers treats them with such disregard, but many people will treat others this way simply because they can get away with it. That doesn't make it right. Every worker, regardless of the job they do, deserves the minimum of protections that are granted to the rest of society. I don't understand why domestic workers are excluded from these protections.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Dan

    Food, lodging, clothes and a paycheck. What's all the fuss about.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  91. popeye1128

    We need to better define what "middle class" is. Sorry but I don't feel any family that can afford domestic help on a daily or live in basis is really middle class. At least not my idea of it.
    OK, maybe the very upper middle class or lower wealthy. I'll concede that much.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I don't think you understand that many of these domestic workers work for LESS than the cost of daycare.

      My wife, a former domestic worker (college educated but no jobs available for what she was looking to do), was earning $8 an hour just a few years ago working in-house 40-50 hours a week.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • popeye1128

        Jeez, even that is $320+ a week. I sure can't afford to pay somebody that. I must be poorer than I thought.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • dean

      I'm struggling to see how any family making 250,000 dollars a year is middle class. If it is I was really on the low end of this group making 50,000 a year and raising a family.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  92. VMS

    The woman in the picture is wearing a Coach purse. Cost: about $125.00 I work full time for a lot more than it's claimed she works for and I can't afford a Coach purse.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • popeye1128

      Seriously doubt it is the real thing.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiCEO

      It looks like a knock-off purse to me and that photo is not of the woman in the aritcle. Those are hotel workers not nannies.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Good point! Wait to see how many ppl will say its a fake! They have no clue. I have a friend that is a nanny. While her base pay is only $35k she has no housing expenses, no food expenses, lives in a much nicer home than I do and she will tell you her income "all in" is closer to $125k. Leave it to CNN to pretend they are down and out. They aren't. I would trade my $65k a year job with her in a heartbeat!

      December 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Yes It's Slavery

        I remember when I made around 65k. It was in a large CA metro area in my early 20s. I probably saved up 35k a year saving up living in the cheapest place I could find, eating cheap with a car that was over 10years old. I still wouldn't trade it for this supposed wonderful 35k job living off in someone's home dealing with your employer 24/7. Probably no car or a lent car only too.

        The mindset of freedom and ability to choose how you save and spend and ownership seem to be severely underappreciated for some here.

        If you really feel that it's solo much better then just become a domestic already instead of spouting such envy over it.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      Maybe her employer gave it to her. I'm giving my child's nanny a coach purse for Christmas. I'm giving her daughter, who is our housekeeper, a coach wallet. People get so resentful when they think a "has-not" has a luxury item. I grew up on food stamps and I remember how the grocery line would give my mother and me the evil eye if we ever had ice-cream in the checkout. Imagine that, buying a tub of ice cream for your kid on taxpayer money! Can't poor people afford a few nice things once in a while? Maybe it's rare, maybe it's a gift. DON'T JUDGE!!!

      December 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Large and in Charge

        also, I'm not saying my nanny is poor, just that I was when I was young. I know how wonderful it is to have a nice thing you can't usually afford, no matter your income level. We all like it, why hate on others? It's like the whole "welfare queen" mentality from the 80's–the idea that the poor are somehow sitting around and living in luxury on taxpayer dime. I was on welfare in the 80's, and the last five days of the month or so, we had little to no food. Even so, mom managed to scrape up the guts to buy ice cream once in a great great while. but so much resentment. And I see it now, when this random poster starts to hoot and holler because she sees a photo of a domestic worker with a sorry coach knock off.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiCEO

      Ed, that is a cheap knockoff....at least it looks like one to me. In most cities you can buy one of these for about $20. They're also not nannies (nannies don't have standard uniforms that they wear when they meet each other)

      I'm sure plenty of nannies make $35k a year. And I also know about the sordid underworld of under-the-table, illegal immigrant nannies. I've witnessed it myself and there are plenty of news stories about it. It is common for in-house nannies/housekeepers to make about $500 a month, keeping the wages for honest, American nannies way down. The employers should go to jail, plain and simple. Anyone standing up for these criminals is un-American.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Large and in Charge

        A black market exists because it is efficient. It is not necessarily true that every underpaid illegal immigrant nanny takes the job of an honest-wage American nanny. Underpaid nannies are their own market, and cater to people for whom they are the best they can afford. You should take a big picture view of things. Us Americans use tremendous amounts of illegal labor in agriculture. If we, theoretically, can actually get rid of this labor, it doesn't create more American jobs picking fruit–it just makes grapes $10 a pound and lettuce $15 a head, less people buy grapes and lettuce, and less people are needed to pick them. Get it? So, getting rid of illegal nannying will just reduce the number of people who can afford nannies...the jobs shrink.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • dean

        The U.S. is just becoming a third word labor country. I live in Ecuador and have a live in care taker for my 3 year old twins. I pay 200 dollars a month. Room and board vacation and year end bonus.. That is the normal wage for most domestic workers here. Americans soon will be doing domestic jobs when the country soon collapses..

        December 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Those are CLEARLY Gs and not Cs on the bag.

      So you're talking a $50 bag at the most.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  93. JamesT

    Can you provide contact information please? I am looking for service in the Boston area and will provide the transportation.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • withkids

      Yeah, send some ladies to the DC area, too! I'd love to pay less than $20/hr for childcare or cleaning!

      December 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Martyr2

    "The Fair Labor Standards Act, which guarantees minimum wage, overtime and sick and vacation pay, does not apply to domestic workers."

    And why the hell not? If you have a job, you should be under that Act. Who cares if you work for an executive as a nanny or a CEO of a fortune 500 company. A worker working should be protected by that act.

    Now of course if the nanny is living in their house, that should be factored in as a wage, but still 1.27 is pathetic. Just another example of the abuses Rich people indulge in. I tell you, if I ever become rich I am not going to screw over people like that.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeD

      You're not going to screw over people? Well, good luck gettin' rich then!

      December 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • CB007

      Ah, but what about farm workers who earn less than min wage and that is considered okay or the military who seems to pay their lowest level enlisted so little that there are constant food/clothing drives for them. Now it is true that they often get food and base housing but then again if you are living with a family you are also getting room and board. I am also not certain how the wage was calculated – did they simply take the number of hours the woman was in the home – even if she was sleeping and divide it by her wage?? In the end, if you can get a better paying job then in the free market you do... if you can't because your English skills are bad, you are here illegally or you don't like those kinds of jobs you are more limited. I have no problem with new laws about domestic workers but I wonder if that would actually effect any change.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  95. RunForTheHills

    She may have only earned $1.27 in cash compensation, but rent anywhere on 5th Avenue in midtown manhattan is worth $5000/month.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiCEO

      Pretty sure she wouldn't be living their except because of her job.....

      December 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      $1.27/hr, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That's $850 per month under the table. Plus free room and board. What more can you ask for?

      December 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Oh, yeah, I'd LOVE to sleep on the floor like a dog between two beds. Who cares if it's in a fifth avenue apartment; it's on the floor. That shows what this woman–who parents these children–is worth to the biological parents. It's disgusting. They should be real parents and stop leaving their children for someone else to raise.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      You get what you pay for. I don't understand rich people who cheap out on domestic help and especially, nannies. Cheap out on your car, clip coupons, cut your hair at home, whatever, but don't haggle with your children's nanny and grasp for every penny you can squeeze out of them. If an American early-education credentialed nanny is out of your budget, you can get someone who has a kind and loving heart, has successfully raised children of her own, and is responsible, but maybe has limited formal education and doesn't speak english very well, but still pay her more than you should or she expects, for pete's sakes. They'll kiss your babies extra for it. harsh, but true. Why haggle and be mean, and risk your kids emotional health?

      December 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Willy

    You in the US are so concerned in what happens in other countries that have forgotten wore things happen insido your own one!

    December 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Scott

    People will complain about anything. This is the 1% providing jobs to otherwise unemployable people. They take them in, feed them, pay them, and expect them to like it.
    More tax breaks for the rich! Just think, you too could soon have a job as a houseboy or shoe shiner at a $1 an hour!

    Did I lay the sarcasm on too thick?

    December 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Ali

    Should nannies get $1.27 an hour? No. But wages are determined by the same forces that affect wages in most jobs–how many workers with a particular skill set are available to do the work matched up with the number of employers looking to hire. Lots of workers with much the same skills, or lack of skills, means that workers have little to no clout in getting higher wages. And this article fails to mention that many of the nannies are not "immigrants' but illegal aliens, who have no legal right to work in this country. In fact, the presence of illegal aliens in our work force drives down wages and debases working conditions for not only nannies, but other workers.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      And as automation takes away jobs, and more people are fighting for the same job, you think wages should drop accordingly?
      In a perfect society, where everyone actually cares about life, and not about themselves, your plan might work. In our current society, where destruction, greed and torture are sports, not so much.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • pacoder

      Except in this case its illegal and the 1%ers taking advantage of this person are well aware making them morally bankrupt. The class warfare is coming, it seems awfully similar to the final days of Rome, give them games and bread and hope they don't kill you.....

      December 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  99. anon

    Take a look at the privatized prison system in America and look at how those private prison corporations lobby for laws that make it easier and easier to be arrested and put in jail. Look at how the US incarcerates more people the Russia and Communist China COMBINED. Then look at how our inmates are forced to work in those privatized prisons for 40¢ an hour. Then you will realize the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is the LARGEST employer of slave labor in the world. You dumb Americans really need to wake the eff up.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Ken Green

    I think it's time that Fair Labor Standards Act be updated. I disagree with the exemptions. "Executive, administrative, and professional employees (including teachers and academic administrative personnel in elementary and secondary schools), outside sales employees, and certain skilled computer professionals (as defined in the Department of Labor's regulations)" Screw that. If you work over 40, everyone should get time and a half. BTW: I'm a PC Consultant.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Green

      I also want to say that I think too many companies take advantage of salaried employees. 50 to 60+ hours a week is no way to live.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • HospitalistMD

        I'm a physician working for a large national hospitalist group. I've worked upwards of 300 hours a month without time and a half or even $1 over my regular hourly wage. Yes, even MDs are being taken advantage of by large corporations.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Yes It's Slavery

        Argument for another topic. But I tend to agree with you. I slogged in corporate salaried breaking my sanity covering incompetents in the teams until I became a consultant. If you have a good rep and network it is better to go hourly setting your own hours and limits. The work is harder and stressful (no one calls consults when things are peachy) but you get fair pay. Besides with enough network you are approached with 'normal' jobs if you really wanted to go back to it.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Wait, does ANYONE really work less than 40 hrs per week in this decade? For most American's you are either unemployed or work 50+ hours a week.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seola

      As a "PC Consultant" the exemption then doesn't apply to you so it was moot to bring it up. As a network engineer, my husband IS exempted from labor practices but it's WITHIN REASON. This is because at times, his employer may have a 35-40 hour "normal" week and when isht hits the fan, he can have an 80 hour week. The pay for these professionals is high (at level 4 – where the most often exemptions are used and above) and the benefits are high and it doesn't apply to hourly employees (nor does the other exemptions). Hourly employees are 99% of the time not the response team anyway. ALSO – it that type of job, problems that require the extra hours are USUALLY caused by the very people in the same field/department and therefore work as a team. People who goof up, tend not to stick around. Not to mention, these skilled positions paying so well also require lots of certs (for example, in my husband's line it's Cisco certs) and so can command the cushy salaries and some benefits but ALSO to keep morale and employees, they usually give a bonus (either per project or year end) because there are so many jobs and it's a desperate field.

      Aside from all that however. generally the consensus among the field is if you are a "consultant" and not working for yourself, you aren't a good consultant. In general, word of mouth would precede you and you'd take clients with you.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Yes It's Slavery

        A little confused by your post. If you are a 'consultant' but not working for yourself? The very def is working as an independent. Not really my field but I know top companies hire tech development consults or problem solving situations. These guys all get paid well and work as an independent and do not get hired without strong rep and resume. Maybe consultants are different for you but typically people don't go solo unless they are very good at whet they do.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seola

      BTW, I like the term shift from help desk jockey to PC consultant but help desk isn't part of the exemptions and if you are being "used" in that manner, you need to be discussing it with a lawyer. HDJ's are not exempted.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
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