While it’s not commonly talked about, many families in the United States rely upon the services of au pairs.
Au pairs are generally young women from foreign nations; they arrive in the United States on specific visas and provide childcare services to families, many of whom are wealthy (or purport themselves to be wealthy).
Unfortunately, real-life testimonials of au pairs working to this day expose a scary, insidious truth.
Many of these foreign workers suffer horrific abuse. This abuse comes from both the hands of the families they work for and the au pair agencies connecting them with these families.
My detailed interviews with au pairs cover accounts of them working far beyond agreed-upon hours, yet not receiving fair compensation. When these young workers turn to the families or agencies for help, they’re often brushed aside, ignored, or even threatened.
Leaving these families and agencies isn’t always feasible for au pairs; many of them come from terrible situations in their home countries and would have to return home if they lost their visas tied to work with the agencies.