South African

Aupair lawsuit for low pay rates against minimum wage laws

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I was emailed by a law firm that is suing for back pay concerning the low rates I'm being played as an aupair, they asked me to join their lawsuit. My question is I get married in the next two weeks and I want to know if there can be any backlash with my visa/ AOS because of this lawsuit and if I should join it? I've been here for over a year and look after and look after 14 year old twins, one has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair so its a lot of work and according to the states laws I'm supposed to be paid way more than what I'm getting as they are both on medication and I deal with a lot of physical abuse from the wheelchair bound child, eg, he bites my face and arms, hits, pinches, scratches, grabs my breast etc. Im not sure what to do because my agency doesn't care nor do my host parents , if I join can I be sent home???

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20 minutes ago, South African said:

I was emailed by a law firm that is suing for back pay concerning the low rates I'm being played as an aupair, they asked me to join their lawsuit. My question is I get married in the next two weeks and I want to know if there can be any backlash with my visa/ AOS because of this lawsuit and if I should join it? I've been here for over a year and look after and look after 14 year old twins, one has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair so its a lot of work and according to the states laws I'm supposed to be paid way more than what I'm getting as they are both on medication and I deal with a lot of physical abuse from the wheelchair bound child, eg, he bites my face and arms, hits, pinches, scratches, grabs my breast etc. Im not sure what to do because my agency doesn't care nor do my host parents , if I join can I be sent home???

It sounds like they are trying to get you to join a class action lawsuit. Which even if you win you will literally get pennies on the dollar what you think your owed.

 

Have you talked to the family that employs you and ask for a raise?

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It sounds like too much work and you will not get anything. Also, you could have left the job at any time so that is going nowhere. You cannot do a lawsuit because they were not paying you enough. For that you ask for a raise or you quit.

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44 minutes ago, Coco8 said:

It sounds like too much work and you will not get anything. Also, you could have left the job at any time so that is going nowhere. You cannot do a lawsuit because they were not paying you enough. For that you ask for a raise or you quit.

To the contrary, I think you can absolutely sue for that. Class action it's probably the easiest way, even if you don't get as much pay back.  Doesn't seem like she has much to lose, and maybe some back pay to gain.  As far as I know, au pair can't just switch agencies, so asking for a raise or quitting is not as feasible as with a regular employer.

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44 minutes ago, Coco8 said:

It sounds like too much work and you will not get anything. Also, you could have left the job at any time so that is going nowhere. You cannot do a lawsuit because they were not paying you enough. For that you ask for a raise or you quit.

To the contrary, I think you can absolutely sue for that. Class action it's probably the easiest way, even if you don't get as much pay back.  Doesn't seem like she has much to lose, and maybe some back pay to gain.  As far as I know, au pair can't just switch agencies, so asking for a raise or quitting is not as feasible as with a regular employer.

 

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2 hours ago, Coco8 said:

It sounds like too much work and you will not get anything. Also, you could have left the job at any time so that is going nowhere. You cannot do a lawsuit because they were not paying you enough. For that you ask for a raise or you quit.

If I just quit I may be denied any type of visa in the future due to the way the department of state has set up the process, the lawsuit is already on going and was started by other aupairs as a set of aupair companies have not followed the state laws when considering our weekly pay, so the lawsuit doesn't actually affect my host family. The agencies have fixed lower pay rates in order to compete and make it more appealing to american families who need cheap child care, the suit is for underpaid and overworked aupairs that agencies don't actually protect and enforce the rules as they have stated that they did not need to notify the families of the state laws considering our pays, they intentionally tell families and au pairs that the weekly pay is set by the state department however the state denied these claims and the lawsuit won against the agencies trying to have it dismissed in July and is now moving forward

Edited by South African

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At the moment I'm getting 4.25 an hour for 45 hours a week and the family has said that they are not required to give me a raise as the agency has told them they do not need to

5 hours ago, cyberfx1024 said:

It sounds like they are trying to get you to join a class action lawsuit. Which even if you win you will literally get pennies on the dollar what you think your owed.

 

Have you talked to the family that employs you and ask for a raise?

 

Edited by South African

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1 hour ago, South African said:

At the moment I'm getting 4.25 an hour for 45 hours a week and the family has said that they are not required to give me a raise as the agency has told them they do not need to

 

You are getting married right, is your future spouse a USC and that's why you wondering about AOS?

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2 hours ago, cyberfx1024 said:

You are getting married right, is your future spouse a USC and that's why you wondering about AOS?

Yes in 2 weeks time, I was told that my agency could ruin my plans by canceling my visa before then and reporting me to immigration but I assume that is just a scare tactic

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1 minute ago, South African said:

Yes in 2 weeks time, I was told that my agency could ruin my plans by canceling my visa before then and reporting me to immigration but I assume that is just a scare tactic

As far as I know you will be fine because you will be married to a USC.

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10 hours ago, South African said:

Yes in 2 weeks time, I was told that my agency could ruin my plans by canceling my visa before then and reporting me to immigration but I assume that is just a scare tactic

No it is not the case. Since you will be marrying a USC and doing an AOS, that is not the case. I would imagine the agency would be in trouble due to Dept of Labour Laws?

Anyone has input into this? I thought there were standards of Labour and Minimum Wage Laws here?

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15 hours ago, South African said:

At the moment I'm getting 4.25 an hour for 45 hours a week and the family has said that they are not required to give me a raise as the agency has told them they do not need to

 

What you need to consider as an au pair is that you are being provided and paid for with housing and food. So the $4.25 is only your extra pay but add to that the cost of you having to pay for your own room in your area plus food and you have your actual pay. 

Edited by Californiansunset

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