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Are you paying your caregiver minimum wage?

Corey Kagan Whelan
Jan. 11, 2019

Learn about the minimum wage laws in your state and pay caregivers what they're worth.

Yes, you love your nanny, your housekeeper, your pet sitter and the other caregivers in your life. But do you pay them a fair wage?

"Just as you are compensated for the work you do in your profession, your household employee must be paid at least minimum wage for every hour s/he works," says Tom Breedlove, Sr. Director of Care.com HomePay.

A report by the National Domestic Workers Alliance found that around 23 percent of domestic workers are paid below their state's minimum wage, with undocumented workers and live-in employees faring the worst.  Read on to learn more about minimum wage and what the current rates on in your state.

Know what to pay

According to New York City-based employment attorney Jeffrey Risman, Esq., household workers such as nannies, senior caregivers and housekeepers must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This applies even in states that don't have a minimum wage law or those states where the minimum wage law is set at a lower rate than that established by federal law.

In states where the minimum wage requirement exceeds $7.25, workers should be compensated at the higher rate set.

"It's important to understand your state's minimum wage requirement because employees can file a wage dispute for unpaid wages against their employer months after the employment relationship has ended," cautions Breedlove.

Are you a nanny or caregiver? Read these tips about getting paid minimum wage.

Follow this guide to minimum wage law

Here's a list of what families in each state need to pay, as of January 1, 2019. Keep in mind that some cities and counties within certain states have their own minimum wage laws that families should adhere to.

  • Alabama: $7.25/hour
  • Alaska: $7.25/hour
  • Arizona: $11.00/hour
    • Some cities have a different minimum wage rate. HomePay has the details here.
  • Arkansas: $7.25/hour
  • California: $11.00/hour
    • Several cities have a different minimum wage rate. Check HomePay for the details here.
  • Colorado: $11.10/hour
  • Connecticut: $10.10/hour
  • Delaware: $8.25/hour
  • District of Columbia: $12.50/hour
  • Florida: $8.46/hour
  • Georgia: $7.25/hour
  • Hawaii: $10.10/hour
  • Idaho: $7.25/hour
  • Illinois: $8.25/hour
    • Some cities and counties have a different minimum wage rate. Visit HomePay for the details here.
  • Indiana: $7.25/hour
  • Iowa: $7.25/hour
  • Kansas: $7.25/hour
  • Kentucky: $7.25/hour
  • Louisiana: $7.25/hour
  • Maine: $11.00/hour
    • Some cities have a different minimum wage rate. HomePay has the details here.
  • Maryland: $9.25/hour
    • Some counties have a different minimum wage rate. HomePay has these rates listed here.
  • Massachusetts: $12.00/hour
  • Michigan: $9.45/hour
  • Minnesota: $8.04/hour
  • Mississippi: $7.25/hour
  • Missouri: $7.85/hour
  • Montana: $8.50/hour
  • Nebraska: $9.00/hour
  • Nevada: $8.25/hour
  • New Hampshire: $7.25/hour
  • New Jersey: $8.85/hour
  • New Mexico: $7.50/hour
    • Some cities have different minimum wage rates. HomePay has the details listed here.
  • New York: $11.10/hour
    • Some cities and counties have different minimum wage rates. Visit HomePay for the details here.
  • North Carolina: $7.25/hour
  • North Dakota: $7.25/hour
  • Ohio: $7.25/hour
  • Oklahoma: $7.25/hour
  • Oregon: Minimum wage varies from $10.00/hour to $11.25/hour depending on where you live. Visit HomePay to see the specific details here.
  • Pennsylvania: $7.25/hour
  • Rhode Island: $10.10/hour
  • South Carolina: $7.25/hour
  • South Dakota: $9.10/hour
  • Tennessee: $7.25/hour
  • Texas: $7.25/hour
  • Utah: $7.25/hour
  • Vermont: $10.78/hour
  • Virginia: $7.25/hour
  • Washington: $12.00/hour
    • Some cities have different minimum wage rates. HomePay has the details here.
  • West Virginia: $8.75/hour
  • Wisconsin: $7.25/hour
  • Wyoming: $7.25/hour

Your next steps:


Corey Whelan is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, New York.

* The information contained in this article should not be used for any actual caregiver relationship without the advice and guidance of a professional advisor who is familiar with all the relevant facts. The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended as legal, tax or investment advice. Furthermore, the information contained herein may not be applicable to or suitable for your specific circumstances and may require consideration of other matters.


I recently am working as a caregiver I work 24hour shifts..I charge $240. per shift. break- down $10.00 an hour...I do lite housework when needed.prepare meals ,,meds,,drive to appts etc.Im there 24 hours and cannot leave until the next Caregiver comes on..When I ask around Im told by other Caregivers that they charge Over time??? how?Some make $12.00 but only work 4 hours a day some work 6? Am I charging too Little?

Maria in Potomac, MD
Aug. 12, 2017

I currently pay my housekeeper $17 per hour.  She works 22 hours per week.  I pay her for holidays and sick/vacation leave.  Her 1 year anniversary is coming up.  How much of a raise should I give her?

April 14, 2016

This is an eye opener for me. I find myself unable to pay a babysitter a fair wage because I would have use my whole paycheck plus some to pay her. I work 50 hours a week and cant hire a sitter. I am very upset.

User in Parkville, MD
Dec. 17, 2015

Thats ridiculous. If anything the minimum wage should be that of a waiter. I work a decent job and wage. But i don't come close to having 400 extra every week! Thats a little over 1600 a month. Absurd! Theres a reason why a care provider is suppose to watch multiple children! Bc their income shouldn't come from 1 source!

User in Visalia, CA
Oct. 30, 2014

It's difficult to find a decent paying job when so many ads being posted make it clear they are only willing to pay a certain amount, not over! My theory is this, if you cannot afford to pay a decent wage, don't advertise! I've interviewed for many positions where they offer 10-15 an hour, yet they only truly want to pay 3-5. It's disgusting! Childcare is not cheap, and yet so many want so much for nothing, it saddens me.

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