Almost 100,000 au pairs nationwide may soon be awarded with potentially the largest settlement ever for minimum wage workers. More than 15 companies employing these child care professionals agreed to tentatively pay $65.5 million in owed wages. The lawsuit, which was filed back in 2014, proposed the settlement last Wednesday in Denver federal court just before going to trial. The settlement agreement is currently pending the courts approval.
The au pairs from countries such as Australia, Colombia, Germany, Mexico and South Africa were taken advantage of by companies that worked together to pay them below the minimum wage, ignoring state and federal overtime minimum wage laws. If the settlement is approved, affected participants would receive money based on several factors including their years worked, whether they had to undergo unpaid training, which states they worked in, and other various claims of wrongdoing in the lawsuit. Affected au pairs would have come to the U.S. on J-1 visas between Jan. 1, 2009 and Oct. 28, 2018.
If you or anyone you know is an au pair, provides child care, or housekeeping services through an agency or company, they may be owed wages. It is helpful to get the opinion of a legal expert to see if they may have a claim. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP specializes in employee rights and offers a free phone consultation to determine if it is a matter we can assist you with. You can reach us at (212) 300-0375 or visiting our website for additional information.