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Thursday, Jan 21, 2021

Inside the underground nanny economy, where many women of color have few ways to fight workplace abuses and low wages, all made worse by the pandemic

Inside the underground nanny economy, where many women of color have few ways to fight workplace abuses and low wages, all made worse by the pandemic

The nanny industry is an unregulated "gray market" that predominantly employs women of color who aren't citizens. Because there's so little oversight and so few protections, nannies have little recourse in dealing with discrimination and workplace abuses, including in some cases pay as low as $5 an hour and racist remarks. The coronavirus has only exacerbated and entrenched these inequities as parents face their own employment uncertainties and need additional help with children who are learning from home. Business Insider talked to 16 nannies in the New York City area who are now confronting financial ruin or expected to fill the roles of educator, cook, and cleaner, while barely getting compensated for the position of one person. Parents who talked to Business Insider say the economics aren't so simple and that if you don't pay under the table, you are effectively taxed twice, adding that the practice allows the nanny to take home more money.
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