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How frequently do I need to pay my household worker? My nanny wants to be paid weekly. Do I need to do that?

The pay frequency of a nanny or senior caregiver (and all hourly, non-exempt employees) – the maximum interval between wage payments to the worker – is governed by state law. Nanny pay frequency regulations are summarized below.

Payroll calculations for your household employee (nanny, housekeeper, maid, senior caregiver, etc.) are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Most household employees are Non-Exempt employees under the FLSA, meaning they are covered by overtime pay protections. Senior companions under the FLSA definitions and live-in domestic service workers at the FEDERAL level are exempted from overtime – many states however do cover ALL domestic service workers under overtime rules.

Because household employees are hourly workers subject to overtime calculations, HWS recommends that they be paid either weekly or bi-weekly. This facilitates the employer calculation of overtime, as overtime is always based on hours worked in a defined 7 day work week. Note for overtime calculations, you cannot “average” weeks. If a household employee paid bi-weekly works 45 hours in the first week and 35 in the second, the payroll would be for 75 regular hours and 5 overtime hours.

Some states further establish guidelines for the maximum permissible number of days following the payroll period that the employer can delay payment (permissible lag time). The alphabetical list below summarizes the maximum permissible time between wage payments a state-by-state basis. This list is specific to household employment.

Note to employers sponsoring foreign workers employed with G-5 Visas: The US State Department requires that employees working with a G-5 visa be paid on either a weekly or bi-weekly (26 times a year) basis. This standard supersedes more liberal state payment regulations. More information for sponsors of G-5 employees.

List Updated June 2019

  • Alabama: Semi-Monthly
  • Alaska: Monthly
  • Arizona: Semi-Monthly, 5 day lag maximum
  • Arkansas: Semi-Monthly
  • California: Monthly, 7 day lag maximum
  • Colorado: Monthly, 10 day lag maximum
  • Connecticut: Weekly, 8 day lag maximum
  • Delaware: Monthly, 7 day lag maximum
  • District of Columbia: Semi-Monthly, 10 day lag maximum, pay on termination due the next day
  • Florida: Monthly
  • Georgia: Semi-Monthly
  • Hawaii: Semi-Monthly, 7 day lag maximum
  • Idaho: Monthly, 10 day lag maximum
  • Illinois: Semi-Monthly, 7 day lag maximum
  • Indiana: Semi-Monthly, 10 day lag maximum
  • Iowa: Bi-Weekly, 12 day lag maximum
  • Kansas: Monthly, 15 day lag maximum
  • Kentucky: Semi-Monthly, 18 day lag maximum
  • Louisiana: Semi-Monthly, 10 day lag maximum
  • Maine: Semi-Monthly, 8 day lag maximum
  • Maryland: Semi-Monthly
  • Massachusetts: Bi-Weekly, 6 day lag maximum
  • Michigan: Bi-Weekly, 14 day lag maximum (Monthly allowed if paid 1st of month in advance)
  • Minnesota: Monthly, 15 day lag maximum
  • Mississippi: Semi-Monthly, 10 day maximum lag
  • Missouri: Semi-Monthly, 16 day maximum lag
  • Montana: Semi-Monthly, 10 day maximum lag
  • Nebraska: Monthly
  • Nevada: Semi-Monthly, 15 day maximum lag
  • New Hampshire: Weekly, 8 day lag maximum
  • New Jersey: Semi-Monthly, 10 day maximum lag
  • New Mexico: Semi-Monthly, 10 day maximum lag
  • New York: Weekly*, 7 day maximum lag (Weekly payroll mandated by the NY Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights)
  • North Carolina: Monthly
  • North Dakota: Monthly
  • Ohio: Semi-Monthly, 15 day maximum lag
  • Oklahoma: Semi-Monthly
  • Oregon: Monthly
  • Pennsylvania: Semi-Monthly, 15 day maximum lag
  • Rhode Island: Weekly, 9 day maximum lag (Bi-Weekly effective 1/2014 if hourly wage 200% or more of state minimum wage)
  • South Carolina: Monthly
  • South Dakota: Monthly
  • Tennessee: Semi-Monthly, 20 day maximum lag
  • Texas: Semi-Monthly
  • Utah: Semi-Monthly, 10 day maximum lag
  • Vermont: Weekly, 6 day maximum lag
  • Virginia: Semi-Monthly
  • Washington: Monthly, 7 day maximum lag
  • West Virginia: Bi-Weekly
  • Wisconsin: Monthly, 31 day maximum lag
  • Wyoming: Semi-Monthly, 16 day maximum lag

Many employers misunderstand the difference between Bi-Weekly and Semi-Monthly payroll. Bi-Weekly is payroll on alternate weeks. There are 26 pay periods in a year with Bi-Weekly payroll and each payroll period covers two weeks work. Semi-Monthly is payroll twice a month. There may be 15 or 16 days covered in a payroll period, and there are 24 payroll periods in a year.

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