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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?

Payroll for your household employee (nanny, housekeeper, maid, senior caregiver, etc.) is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Household employees are Non-Exempt employees under the FLSA. The pay frequency of a nanny or senior caregiver (and all hourly, non-exempt employees) –┬áthe maximum interval between wage payments to the worker – is governed by state law.

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 it is based on hours worked in a 7 day work week. Note for overtime calculations, you cannot “average” weeks. If a bi-weekly paid worker 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 these requirements on 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 by-weekly (26 times a year) basis. This standard supersedes more liberal state payment regulations. More information for sponsors of G-5 employees.

List Updated July 2013

  • Alabama: Semi-Monthly
  • Alaska: Monthly
  • Arizona: Semi-Monthly, 5 day lag maximum
  • Arkansas: Semi-Monthly
  • California: Semi-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
  • 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: Bi-Weekly, 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 maximum lag
  • 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 11/28/2010)
  • North Carolina: Monthly
  • North Dakota: Monthly
  • Ohio: Semi-Monthly (some exceptions allow 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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