Regulation of the Day 196: Babysitting

California legislators are set to pass a bill that would reduce the number of babysitters. Not on purpose, of course. But when you make babysitters more expensive, parents won’t hire as many of them. California Sen. Doug LaMalfa lists some of the bill’s requirements:

Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck.

The intentions behind this bill are noble, one assumes. But when it comes to regulations, good intentions don’t matter. Results do. And it’s pretty easy to see that if it passes, this bill will result in a lot of unhappy nights at home for frustrated parents — and a lot less income for sitters who have been priced out of a job.

You can read the full text of the bill here [PDF]. It would also raise unemployment for maids, nannies, and anyone else who makes a living helping others around the house.