Many employers offered their personal attendants - people employed as caregivers, housekeepers, maids and childcare providers - a flat “day rate.” That day rate might have sounded great to some personal attendants, but considering that day rate did not include overtime and often involved long hours - up to 24 hours a day - many personal attendants were not even making half of what they should have made.
According to Daniel Chaleff, some personal attendants were paid from $80 to $120 per day for 24 hours worked, while under the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, they should be paid $283.50 for the day. In other words, domestic workers paid $80 a day for 24 hours of work made approximately one-fourth of what they should be paid under the new law.
Under the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, personal attendants must be paid overtime for any time worked above nine hours in a day, and that overtime must be paid at one-and-one-half times the regular rate of pay. Further, personal attendants must be paid a minimum of $9 an hour for the first nine hours worked, putting the overtime rate at $13.50 per hour.
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Those lawsuits can result in employees being awarded unpaid wages and damages, depending on the circumstances of the overtime law violation. Prior to the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights being enacted, some personal attendants filed lawsuits to obtain overtime wages. If they were found to spend less than 20 percent of their time in other duties - such as housekeeping, monitoring blood pressure and so on - then they were found to be exempt from overtime pay, an exemption some employers used to avoid paying overtime wages.