From a family perspective, nothing could be better. Our kids get to spend time with family, and we are able to help my sister-in-law financially.
We also want to be on the up-and-up, making sure we follow the law, pay taxes, and treat her fairly. Does the fact that she will watch her own child at the same time remove the legal necessity to pay minimum wage?
Some people appear to be horrified that I've even asked the question about minimum wage. Looking back over how I phrased the question, I can see that people could jump to conclusions and decide that I am evil. On most days I am not, so here's additional context:
- If there are genuinely legal reasons for her to be paid less than $7.25/hour (like eating our food, or if there were reductions due to watching her own child during the time), and we paid her $7.25 anyway, we would know we were doing more than what is required.
- Our initial agreement was for her to watch our kids for the same price we were paying daycare. She was abundantly thrilled, since she and her husband don't make much money, and the initial arrangement would close to double their household income. It wasn't until we were a couple of weeks into this that my wife asked, "Have we been paying her minimum wage, and if not, do we need to?" If we had been failing in our duty to provide her with the legal minimum, we would want to correct the problem really quickly.