Title

Are au pairs cultural ambassadors or low-wage nannies? A lawsuit enters the fray.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

November 2016

Abstract

"Many au pairs have wonderful, formative experiences, seeing much of the States and building lifelong relationships. But others say they have been subjected to mistreatment by host families or agencies. One Arlington, Va., au pair — who worked up to 75 hours a week, plus nights, caring for a colicky baby — became the subject of American University law professor Janie Chuang’s critique of the au pair program, published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender in 2013. Another local au pair, Edna Valenzuela, was featured in news accounts after her agency initially refused to extend her visa so she could receive free, potentially life-saving treatment following a cancer diagnosis — despite the support of her host family, the fact that she could not receive the care at home and the assurances of the American doctor who was treating her that she’d be able to continue working. (She is now cancer-free as a result of the treatment she was able to receive in the States.)"