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I blogged about my discussion to this question.

When I mentioned that I paid my almost-six-year-old daughter $2 for a job that took an hour I had a commenter say that I paid her "below minimum." (The commenter smells like a troll but it still has me a bit worried.)

I'm almost positive that this is a mis-application of minimum wage law because (a) it's not a business, it's normal family activities; (b) she's not my employee but my daughter; (c) I'm not her employer but her father.

Does anyone know the basis of why I shouldn't be compelled to pay my daughter minimum wage for work that's more or less normal family upkeep work?


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up vote 24 down vote accepted


Here's the portal for US Dept of Labor child employment laws:

Note the first two paras:

"The Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) minimum age requirements do not apply to minors employed by their parents, or by a person acting as their guardian. An exception to this occurs in mining, manufacturing and occupations where the minimum age requirement of 18 years old applies.

State laws often follow the same pattern as the Fair Labor Standards Act with regard to minors working for their parents. Consult your state department of labor for specific guidance."

So it looks like there is no legal compulsion; unless you are having your daughter bore engine cylinders or set explosives at the backyard silver mine.

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She's a min'r ya know! – Raskolnikov Dec 4 '10 at 14:04
Thank you for the reference! – mbhunter Dec 4 '10 at 17:45
I'd not imagine the government wanting to get involved when a neighbor pays my 12 year old to baby sit. The going rate isn't quite minimum wage. – JoeTaxpayer Dec 5 '10 at 14:45
"Occupations such as babysitting are not subject to the minimum wage law." source: – Michael Maddox Apr 12 '11 at 13:12

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