Migliaccio & Rathod LLP is currently investigating various au pair agencies which may have systematically underpaid their employees. Au pair agencies typically hire overseas individuals aged 18-26 to enter the United States on a temporary visa in order to provide American families with childcare and other household chores. Foreign au pairs are often paid a stipend that is much less than the state minimum wage. As a result of COVID-19, which resulted in foreign travel restrictions and visa limitations as well as high demand for childcare, au pair agencies have recruited American citizens to serve as au pairs, who by law must be paid at least the state minimum wage.
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has recently held that au pairs working for agencies like Cultural Care Inc., must be paid at least the state minimum wage in Massachusetts. Cultural Care Inc. was paying their au pairs less than half of the minimum wage in the state of Massachusetts and failing to disclose this information to the host families utilizing their matching service. The court held that Massachusetts wage and hour laws apply to all domestic workers, regardless of whether they are participating in the au pair program.
Plaintiffs in another recent lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts have alleged that au pairs in California and New York are not being properly paid minimum wage. The plaintiffs contend that the agency misled clients of the amount they must pay towards their au pair versus to the agency as well as marketing often up to 45 hours of service per week. The au pairs contend that they are working the full 45 hours marketed, but at a rate far below minimum wage of the state in which they work and to the surprise of their host families. The plaintiffs contend that the agencies are willfully violating state law for their own profit, against the will of many of their clients, and at the expense of fair compensation for the essential work that au pairs provide.
Have you worked as an au pair through an agency and believe you may have been paid at a rate less than the state mandated minimum wage?
If so, we would like to speak with you. Please complete the contact form on this page, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at (202) 470-3520 for more information.
Attorneys Committed to Fighting Wage Theft
The lawyers at Migliaccio & Rathod LLP have years of experience in class action litigation against large corporations, including in cases involving wage theft and unfair & deceptive trade practices. More information about our current cases and investigations is available on our blog.