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Cleaning lady gave me bill of rights demanding $20 per hour
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schmoois1




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:03 am
I have a cleaning lady (I live in Lakewood, NJ) for more than six years. Since I work very, very full time I have her for about 30 hours per week.
I started off at $12 per hour but now she is up to $15 per hour with about $25 extra per week in transportation. She gets a lunch break paid for about 20 minutes per day (works around 5 hrs total per day), and my house is quiet and calm so most often she is doing slow, non-labor intensive work like washing dishes and folding laundry.
She recently informed me that she is pregnant and will be leaving in about 4-5 months Sad
Today she showed up with a ‘Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers’ printed out that she said ‘someone gave her’. It claims to be from the website newlabor.org
One of the things it says is ‘a base salary of $20’
I went on the website but cannot see anywhere it says that (only that they were pleased when the minimum wage was raised to $15 in NJ).
I’m not sure there’s anywhere to print it from the website, or if someone made it up to get more money from the employers.
There is NO WAY I can afford $20 per hour, I can barely afford what I’m paying now but it’s a necessity or I can’t work so many hours.
Do any of you have experience with this - is this the going rate? A ploy? Did you ever hear of this organization?
Can ppl in Lakewood advise?
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:09 am
It's within her right to demand a raise, and it's your right to either agree or find someone who will work for the salary you are offering, or to cut her hours to fit your budget.
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Amarante




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:27 am
As DrMom posted, it is her right to demand a raise although it isn't clear whether she actually has asked for a raise.

Whether or not the organization exists is irrelevant. If she asks for a raise, you either pay it or you don't pay it or you negotiate a rate that is acceptable to both of you and she goes or stays based on whether her salary is acceptable to her.

FWIW I am not in Lakewood but pay my cleaning lady more than $15 per hour - probably more than $20 but I don't pay her by the hour but just pay her a flat rate to clean.
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schmoois1




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:27 am
DrMom wrote:
It's within her right to demand a raise, and it's your right to either agree or find someone who will work for the salary you are offering, or to cut her hours to fit your budget.


That wasn’t what I was asking. Anyone can demand a raise any time and anyone can refuse…
I asked if this is the going rate and if the organization was legit - if anyone heard of it…not whether she was within her rights to demand a raise.
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sky




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:31 am
Agencies charge $25. But that is because the agency is taking a cut. Standard is $15-16.
She is leaving soon so I’m not sure it is worth it. You could tell her no. It’s just really hard to find help these days. You could try to get her $16 and see what she does. But it is a risk.


Last edited by sky on Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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notshanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:31 am
In Cleveland the going rate has also went from $13 to $18/20 in the last couple of years. I would guess it has to do with supply and demand.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:32 am
There is no legal requirement to pay $20/hr.

I believe minimum wage is $15/hr or less.
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Lets_Eat_Pie




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:33 am
schmoois1 wrote:
That wasn’t what I was asking. Anyone can demand a raise any time and anyone can refuse…
I asked if this is the going rate and if the organization was legit - if anyone heard of it…not whether she was within her rights to demand a raise.


I pay $25 in NYC. There's a shortage here of many low-wage workers, including cleaning ladies, so those who are willing to work can ask for more money (and usually get it).

I'm not sure what you mean by the organization being legit or not. There are plenty of worker centers and worker organizations out there doing various kinds of advocacy, awareness, and political work. The website of the one you mentioned looks pretty typical to me.
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Ema of 4




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:36 am
schmoois1 wrote:
I have a cleaning lady (I live in Lakewood, NJ) for more than six years. Since I work very, very full time I have her for about 30 hours per week.
I started off at $12 per hour but now she is up to $15 per hour with about $25 extra per week in transportation. She gets a lunch break paid for about 20 minutes per day (works around 5 hrs total per day), and my house is quiet and calm so most often she is doing slow, non-labor intensive work like washing dishes and folding laundry.
She recently informed me that she is pregnant and will be leaving in about 4-5 months Sad
Today she showed up with a ‘Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers’ printed out that she said ‘someone gave her’. It claims to be from the website newlabor.org
One of the things it says is ‘a base salary of $20’
I went on the website but cannot see anywhere it says that (only that they were pleased when the minimum wage was raised to $15 in NJ).
I’m not sure there’s anywhere to print it from the website, or if someone made it up to get more money from the employers.
There is NO WAY I can afford $20 per hour, I can barely afford what I’m paying now but it’s a necessity or I can’t work so many hours.
Do any of you have experience with this - is this the going rate? A ploy? Did you ever hear of this organization?
Can ppl in Lakewood advise?

I had a cleaning lady who was ok- not great, but not terrible. She took off to have a baby, which was fine. 3 months later I called her to see when she was coming back. She told me if I upped her salary to xxx plus transportation on top of that, she would come back the next day. I said no thanks.
Your cleaning lady can ask for however much money she wants, it’s well within her rights. Well within YOUR rights is the right hot to pay that, and find someone else.
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schmoois1




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:39 am
Lets_Eat_Pie wrote:
I pay $25 in NYC. There's a shortage here of many low-wage workers, including cleaning ladies, so those who are willing to work can ask for more money (and usually get it).

I'm not sure what you mean by the organization being legit or not. There are plenty of worker centers and worker organizations out there doing various kinds of advocacy, awareness, and political work. The website of the one you mentioned looks pretty typical to me.


Thanks! Yes the website looks typical but mentions $15 an hour as far as I can see. I can’t find anywhere where it says $20 per hour, so I was wondering if some ppl just printed a flyer with the website name on it that didn’t actually come from there. Also the number on the flyer is not in service…
Just wondered if anyone knew.
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:40 am
Check with the NJ Dept.of Labor to find out the going rate for housecleaners.

As of July 2021, ten states have passed bills of rights for domestic workers: New York, Illinois, Oregon, California, Nevada, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Virginia. Similar bills are pending in NJ and DC.

for more info on the DWBOR see https://jayapal.house.gov/2021.....ghts/

The newlabor.og is affiliated with the National Domestic Workers Alliance , so, yah, they're a legit not-for-profit, not a government agency.
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Crookshanks




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:46 am
That's not typical. Never heard of this org, and the average where I live in Lakewood is $15. You can refuse, or if you need her badly enough, pay her $20 and cut her hours.
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SYA




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:53 am
If the site says 15 and she has 20 printed, and the number is not a valid number, then she likely just printed their letterhead and had someone type up the letter.

I had cleaning help do similar. She didn't say she was expecting but one of the neighbors I shared her with said she must be in her 7-8 month. I asked her and she was entering her 9th! She wasn't planning on telling me. She just wouldn't show up one day. Once I found out she asked for a raise. I told her when she returns she can get one. Not when she's leaving any day without advance warning. When she returned she wanted almost 10 more and we settled on 3 to start to see if it would work out with her childcare arrangements. She finally had that arranged and I went up to the 10 raise reluctantly. Two months later she said she doesn’t have childcare arrangements anymore and she left us. Hasn’t returned in over 2 years.


The next one after her asked for $5 raise. She left two weeks after getting it.

For many it’s because someone else saw her coming or leaving your house and offered her work. So they test if you’ll give the raise. Then they’ll tell the other person that met them outside your house and say I get 18 (when getting 15) but will only work for you for 20. This drives the rates up drastically and quickly. Several of my friends have mentioned the same. When I hire I set the rate I'm willing to pay and they can take it or leave it.
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Zehava




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:55 am
Is she here/working legally? Otherwise she has no rights regardless.
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Amarante




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 10:58 am
Zehava wrote:
Is she here/working legally? Otherwise she has no rights regardless.


She has rights to be treated equitably because she is a human being.

Are you actually recommending that any undocumented people be exploited in any way because they might be afraid to complain and therefore you have power to do so?

At what point would your exploitation stop. Some people have imported workers and kept them locked up - is that acceptable because they have no rights?

And if someone is so "careful" about checking documents, why are they employing an undocumented worker to begin with? Are they paying the FICA share or submitting a 1099 if they pay more than $600 per year?
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monkeymamma




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 11:00 am
I wonder if this bill of rights makes you an official employer. If so, then you would need to pay taxes and the worker would be working on the books so she would need to give you her social security number and other info so you can deduct the appropriate amount of taxes for her (although I am not sure how it works if you only have one employee so perhaps check with an accountant to see how it would be set up). You only have to pay minimum wage though, there is no requirement to pay more than that so look up the minimum wage (for one employee) and tell her that you will pay her minimum wage less taxes. I dont believe that employers have to pay for transportation (or health insurance or other benefits if part time but consult with an accountant to verify this) so tell her that you wont pay for that either. Lets see if this bill of rights will help them or hurt them and if it was worth bringing it up.
At this point, with the high rates that they are asking plus transportation it may come out cheaper to get someone from an agency. Sure they ask for a little more but they can finish the job in a few hours and they pay taxes already so no need to worry about it. Perhaps do the math (on how much you would have to pay taxes if you hire someone on the books vs someone from an agency) then decide which route is better for you.
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Amarante




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 11:03 am
monkeymamma wrote:
I wonder if this bill of rights makes you an official employer. If so, then you would need to pay taxes and the worker would be working on the books so she would need to give you her social security number and other info so you can deduct the appropriate amount of taxes for her (although I am not sure how it works if you only have one employee so perhaps check with an accountant to see how it would be set up). You only have to pay minimum wage though, there is no requirement to pay more than that so look up the minimum wage (for one employee) and tell her that you will pay her minimum wage less taxes. I dont believe that employers have to pay for transportation (or health insurance or other benefits if part time but consult with an accountant to verify this) so tell her that you wont pay for that either. Lets see if this bill of rights will help them or hurt them and if it was worth bringing it up.
.


The "bill of rights" doesn't make her an employee.

She is OP's employee legally at this point because she works for her 30 hours per week each week and receives more than $600 in wages annually.

She is probably not an independent contractor because she performs services under the supervision of OP at hours designated by OP and using supplies and tools that are supplied by OP.
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Lets_Eat_Pie




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 11:07 am
SYA wrote:
If the site says 15 and she has 20 printed, and the number is not a valid number, then she likely just printed their letterhead and had someone type up the letter.



Not necessarily - she could have gotten it from a rally or meeting where the organization made paper copies of a flyer but didn't post it on the website. I worked for a nonprofit and we did this all the time. It's nothing sinister.

In any case, I'm not sure why the "legitimacy" of the organization or flyer matters. What she gave you isn't a legally binding document. She wants a raise. You can either give it, or not.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 11:09 am
Zehava wrote:
Is she here/working legally? Otherwise she has no rights regardless.


In crazy USA illegals have more rights then citizens.

I heard of illegals suing frum bosses for paying below min. wage and not paying social security - and the won!
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 11:10 am
Zehava wrote:
Is she here/working legally? Otherwise she has no rights regardless.


Surely you're not accusing someone here of acting illegally.

First, of course, it is illegal to employ undocumented aliens. Surely people, particularly the conservatives here who regularly rant against undocumented aliens, would never do that.

Its also illegal to break labor laws based on immigration status.

But as others have said, she's entitled to ask for as much as she wants. You're entitled to say no. Then if she quits, you presumably find someone else.
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