Oftentimes in the Greenbelt, Maryland, area people who work for small employers are confused about their employment rights. This is often because small employers can tend to be more informal, and relationships between bosses and employees can be more casual. Additionally, small employers typically do not have human resources departments that help them stay up-to-date with employment law concerns.
This week, news broke that Sharon Stone's former nanny and live-in housekeeper is suing her for harassment and wrongful termination. The woman alleges that Stone repeatedly insulted her Filipino heritage and fired her once she discovered that she had been paid overtime.
California state law requires that all non-salaried employees are paid overtime wages for hours worked in excess of eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. Here in Maryland, non-exempt employees only receive overtime pay--of time and one-half--for hours worked over 40 in one week.
The lawsuit specifically states that Stone's accountants paid the woman overtime because she worked on holidays and vacations, but Stone did not approve of these payments.
In addition to these employment law violations, the suit alleges that Stone made derogatory comments about her religion, and forbade her from reading the Bible in her house as well as criticized her church attendance.
The woman had worked for Stone since 2006, when she was hired as an assistant nanny. By 2008 she was promoted to head nanny.
Stone, through her attorney, has denied the allegations. However, it is important to remember that even in more informal employment settings, such as when an employee is hired directly by the individual for whom he or she will work, federal and state employment law statutes still apply.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Sharon Stone forbade nanny to read Bible at home, suit says," May 23, 2012