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April 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm CDT

Speaker Series: Shayak Sarkar

Law, University of California, Davis School of Law
"Taxing Domestic Workers"
Hybrid: Virtual/In-Person (ABF Offices, 750 N Lake Shore Drive, 4th Floor Chicago, IL)

Shayak Sarkar’s talk discusses the experience of taxation for domestic workers, particularly childcare workers in private households. Drawing upon an original survey, expert interviews, and online forums, he documents new observations of the employee-employer relationship and tax decision-making. Surveyed “nannies” express a strong preference for formal employment and tax reporting. Nannies also report tax ignorance and evasion by some educated household employers; others forge unique tax arrangements, including by strategically placing some income on the books and some off-the-books. Finally, payroll companies play a surprising role in educating and supporting workers in navigating tax- and formality-hesitant employers. In addition to presenting these preliminary results, Sarkar discusses further work to unpack domestic worker-employer negotiations.

To register, contact Sophie Kofman at skofman@abfn.org


Shayak Sarkar is a Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis School of Law. Sarkar’s scholarship addresses the structure and legal regulation of inequality. His substantive interests lie in financial regulation, employment law, immigration, and taxation. He obtained his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.

Sarkar clerked for the Hon. Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Prior to his clerkship, he practiced as an employment attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, where he focused on domestic workers’ rights. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was active in the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. He also served as a Coker Fellow in Contracts and received the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Before law school, he studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, where he earned Masters’ Degrees, with distinction, in Social Work and Development Economics.

His research has appeared or is forthcoming in academic journals including the California Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, and the Review of Economics and Statistics.