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Is My Household Worker or Nanny an Independent Contractor?

When families seek to lighten the burden of household chores such as cleaning, or when working couples need someone to care for their children, a determination must be made regarding whether these workers are independent contractors or employees. The decision affects the way that taxes are paid and by whom.

The IRS has a defined set of rules that apply to these types of situations. Independent contractors are those who offer their services to the general public such as lawyers, accountants, doctors, and dentists. If you can control the details of the work you provide, you are usually an independent contractor.

If your cleaning is done by a cleaning crew, they are not employees generally, but are independent contractors. If your cleaning lady uses your equipment and supplies and you tell her what to do in detail, and when to do it, she is likely an employee.

Your nanny, in all likelihood, is also an employee. Most working couples dictate a detailed schedule and set of rules for their nannies. They may require a nanny to feed only certain foods and to stick to a schedule for naps and other events. In short, the parents are directly in charge of all aspects of the performance of the nanny. The nanny has little flexibility and parents can jump in at any time and direct what should be done, when, and how to do it.

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Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch

Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for his…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

Bruce L. Atkins is the Senior Managing Partner at Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt P.C., a prominent plaintiff employment law firm in the tri-state area. Mr. Atkins believes employees’ rights should be aggressively pursued when they’ve been wrongfully dealt with by their employers. He brings this philosophy to his practice when considering each case and its…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt

Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigation such as discrimination, retaliation and whistle blowing matters. He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a sexual…

Debra M. McGarvey Attorney Photo
Debra M. McGarvey

Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), the…

Carly Skarbnik Meredith Attorney Photo
Carly Skarbnik Meredith

Carly Skarbnik Meredith, Esq. is a Partner at the firm. Carly has focused her career exclusively in the field of employment law. She has a plethora of experience representing both employees and employers with their employment issues, needs, and concerns. She believes representing both employees and employers has made her an extremely well-rounded client advocate.…


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