Agency Policies on Withholding Pay: What are they? Calling all LCCs …

by cv harquail on January 25, 2010

Let’s see if we can get some clarity on this question once and for all, and without me calling or email all the agencies to get the official answers. May I call on the LCCs who read AuPairMom, and ask you to tell us what your agency’s official policy is?jek in the box mugs.jpg

I’m talking “Official” policy, not necessarily how you might or might not bend the rules depending on the specific situation.

Please let us know:
1. The name of your Agency
2. Whether your Agency has an official policy or not
3. If it has an official policy, can you give us the verbatim/boilerplate, or a really good summary?
4. Even better, if you can offer a link to your Agency’s regulations page, that would be great.

Go ahead and sign in as “anonymous” if you’d like.

If there are any differences of fact or opinion on any given Agency, we’ll log and note the difference, and I’ll phone that Agency for the official word.

Thanks in advance, LCCs.

Also, we’ll open another post to capture stories from host parents of when they might have withheld pay, and how that worked out ‘officially’.

Thanks everyone. Now let’s get the assorted facts on the table.

Some previous posts on related subjects:
Can you dock her pay if she owes you money? Poll
Settling Accounts — *Before* she departs

Photo credit goes to Jek In The Box, on Flickr. One of her many insanely pretty images.

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{ 13 comments }

PA Au Pair Mom January 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm

This is from our financial agreement at Cultural Care. It clearly states in the last line that the stipend cannot be withheld for any reason.

5. Host will provide board and lodging in a suitable private bedroom that complies with local building codes in their home for the au pair throughout participation in the program. Host agrees to pay a weekly stipend in accordance with the Regulations. The stipend shall be paid to the au pair on the same mutually agreed upon day each week for fifty-one (51) weeks and cannot be withheld for any reason, including, but not limited to, outstanding phone bills, auto accidents, or lost time due to illness.

Busy Mom January 26, 2010 at 1:06 am

Our AuPairCare agreeement states: “Said stipend shall be paid on the same mutually agreed upon day each week, and cannot be withheld for any reason, including but not limited to outstanding phone bills, auto accidents or lost time due to illness.” However, it also states that “au pair will not be responsible for payment of any automobile insurance deductibles that exceed $250 per accident” and our LCC emphasizes in her first meeting with the au pair and us that she should expect to pay up to $250 if she has an accident. So, there is a clear expectation that she owes us money in the event of an accident.

Anyways, the pay stubs I create provide transparency (sorry for slipping in that business buzz word) and a written record of receipt of full stipend less agreed upon reimbursements.

I just noticed the following statement in the agreement: “The au pair is entitled to start receiving the stipend after one full week in the Host’s home.” So does this mean that we’re expected to only pay our AP for 51 weeks and not 52? I’m just curious b/c we pay on Fridays. She arrived on a Thursday afternoon, so that Friday, I wrote her a check for 2/5 of the stipend for Thursday and Friday. Our LCC (who is top notch in general) was not very helpful on this matter and said only that we “shouldn’t pay for training.” Now that I think of it her last day is a Monday, so should I pay her 1/5 for that last little bit…thereby paying 51 3/5 weeks. This seems kind of weird. Am I misinterpreting this?

NoVA Host Mom January 26, 2010 at 9:05 am

Our LCC specifically told us not to pay that first Friday after her Thursday arrival. The work week started (at least for us) Friday to Thursday with payday on the very next day (Friday), so no partial payment needed.

You do pay through the last week or days, however, at the pro-rated cost.

Michele January 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I am an LCC with Cultural Care.
The host family agreement which is signed by the host family when they apply to the program states they cannot withhold the stipend.
PA Au Pair Mom shows the exact words in her comment above.
As an LCC this is also a topic that is covered at the Host Family Interview and than again at the 2 week orientation once the au pair arrives.

PA Au Pair Mom January 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Michelle:

What do you advise host families to do when it is clear they are owed money by the au pair (after an accident, phone bills, etc) and the au pair is not paying?

thanks for your input. It is nice to have an agency perspective.

Deb Schwarz January 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I believe it’s a State Dept. regulation that weekly stipends not be withheld for any reason. I’m an LCC for Cultural Care (and have been a host mom with APIA and Go Au Pair) and was told them same thing with three agencies. The area that differs by agency is the car accident policy (CC’s policy is that the au pair pays $500 of the deductible only if they are off duty during the accident).

Deb Schwarz
Multiples Specialist
Cultural Care Au Pair
415-990-7571
http://www.dschwarz.aupairnews.com

Anonymous January 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I , too, would like to know how to collect for monies owed when we are not allowed to withhold the stipend. I also think it is a nice thing to pay for the week of training. After all, most of us get paid while we are in training and many of these girls have very little money. It starts things off on a very nice note , I think. Got this idea from a friend.

Michele January 26, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Dear PA Au Pair Mom
In general terms when a situation like this occurs I speak to both the HF and Au Pair and encourage them to sit down and discuss and make an arrangement to pay back monies owed.
I let the au pair know that if she incurs bills she does have a responsiblity to pay.
If they are unable to resolve on their own I would then set up an appointment to come over and do a mediation meeting to help work it out.

Anonymous January 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm

But how can you work out an actual payment plan if the family cannot deduct the monies owed from the stipend ? I understand the principle : wrongful withholding is against the law in NY,NJ and PA.
But what happens if there is not question that the aupair owes the host family money ?

Michele January 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm

You should pay the au pair her full stipend and than she/he can give you back what she owes you just as if she was paying a bill.

If the Au Pair is not fulfilling her responsibility than certainly your LCC and possibility Program Director should become involved.

anonymus January 27, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Our ap wrecked her car in the first week she was here. Although she was only required to pay the $250 deductible, we limited her use of the car to work only unless she paid the full amount. Magically, she came up with the money.

MAmama February 25, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I think the question of agency policies has been addressed and as has been noted, reflects the DOS regs that the stipend not be withheld. For the question of the training week – our au pairs arrive on a Friday and we pay on Fridays. On the first weekend that they are with me, I usually give them a little spending money to get them started (varies – probably on my mood that day! ;-)). Anyway, I think I gave my most recent au pair $80 the weekend she arrived for incidentals and such (like snow pants that we needed for snowtubing on her 2nd day with us!). In terms of partial pay for weeks (per Busy Mom’s point), the main thing is that she is paid 51 times. So, you can not withhold the stipend, but you also can’t pro-rate the stipend. Regardless of the day of the week she started or the day you pay her, if you usually pay her on a Friday, but her last day with you is a Tuesday and that would be the 51st payment, then you have to pay the $195.75. I hope that makes sense!

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