On November 18 and 19, 1996, the United States Information Agency provided all au pair program sponsors with a notice regarding payment of the au pair stipend. To dispel any confusion, please be advised specifically that:
  1. The U.S. Department of Labor determined in 1994 that an employer/employee relationship is established between the host family and the au pair. Accordingly, the stipend* given an au pair must conform with minimum wage law and adjustments. The Department of Labor, having sole jurisdiction regarding matters of minimum wage, determines the credit (room and board) to be applied against the weekly stipend. A full discussion of this matter was set forth in the February 15, 1995 Federal Register notice announcing au pair regulations.

  2. Effective October 1, 1996, the au pair stipend is $128.25. This increase was based upon the increase in the minimum wage payment.
    (Calculation: 45 hours @ $4.75 = $213.75 less a Department of Labor determined credit for room and board in the amount of $85.50 per week equals the weekly stipend.)

  3. Effective September 1, 1997, the au pair stipend will be increased to $139.05. This increase is also based upon the increase in minimum wage to take effect on this date.
    (Calculation: 45 hours @ $5.15 = $231.75 less a Department of Labor determined credit for room and board in the amount of $92.70 per week equals the weekly stipend.)

    In response to the Agency's letter to the Department of Labor which requested an advisory opinion whether a $10 credit may be possible as an offset to educational expenses paid by host families participating in the Au Pair program, the Department of Labor** advised the agency that host families may not take credit in meeting their minimum wage obligations for either tuition costs or medical insurance. Au Pair Program Sponsors were notified on March 13, 1997 by fax and sent a copy of the advisory opinion by certified mail. Accordingly, the minimum weekly stipend has been since October 1, 1996 and remains $128.25.

    NOTE: Any host family failing to abide by the effective dates of au pair stipend increases and amount of stipend to be paid to the au pairs is in violation of federally-mandated minimum wage law.

    *The increase in minimum wage affecting the au pair stipend supersedes the stipend level of $115.00 established in the Au Pair Final Rule (22 CFR 514.31) published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, February 15,1997.

    **Letter dated February 28, 1997 from Jordan R. Fraser, Acting Administrator, Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, addressed to Stanley S. Colvin, Assistant General Counsel, United States Information Agency.

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