As a nanny am I protected under any law if my family refuses to pay me what I have earned?

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As a nanny am I protected under any law if my family refuses to pay me what I have earned?

I worked for a family for 2 months and everything was fine for a time. Then at the end of the 2 months they refused to pay me what they owed me – $1800. I had to move back home and dig myself out financially because of what they did. The only problem about the whole thing, which is an idiot thing on my part, is there is no paper trail. I have email conversations of possible employment and I have a document of recorded hours which the mom asked me to keep track of.

Asked on July 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you did the work, you have to be paid for it, according to whatever the rate, wage, or agreement specified. So if you were in fact owed $1,800 for the work, then you have to be paid for it. That's the law.

Practically, the issue will be whether you can prove both the terms of your employment--that is, how much they were supposed to pay you--and also that you did the work, and so are entitled to the payment. From what you right, you have some evidence, so you may be able to succeed if you bring a lawsuit, which is probably what you'd need to do to seek compensation--this is likely not the kind of case where the department of labor would help, though if you paid all your taxes (i.e. you did everything legal), you can certainly contact them and ask for help. If you end up suing, consider suing in small claims court, which is less expensive and less formal than other courts.


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