Friday

Ex-Nanny feels slighted ....

Received Friday, June 27, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I am a confused ex-Nanny. I have been working for a wonderful family for the past 8 months. They recently (about three weeks ago) informed me that they "might" be moving across the state, though it was clear they would more than likely move. She said that they would reimburse me if they moved, and I said, "Thanks, I would really appreciate that." I assumed she meant that they would pay me for X amount of time past they last day I worked for them. A week after that (two weeks ago), she told me they were in fact moving. It should have been $1,050. She paid me $350. On a side note, I got both of them and their daughter going-away presents and wrote them thank-you notes. They got me nothing and didn't even bother to pay me extra. My question is, should I call her and tell her I was under the impression we agreed upon some form of reimbursement? If so, what exactly should I say? Nannies, would you feel upset/manipulated? I should also say that they loved the gifts, have given me excellent references, and have overall been a great family to work for.

From OP:
The reason I was under the assumption that I would get 2 weeks compensation is because I am taking a vacation in 2 weeks and the mother was extremely worried and anxious about my not having a job for those two weeks (because pretty much no one is going to hire me for two weeks, then let me have a two week vacation). The reason I felt so manipulated was because they gave me a raise right before they told me they might be moving, and I feel that they did that so that I wouldn't be mad about them moving and get a new job and quit before they were done with me. Now, the 2 weeks was just an assumption on my part and I agree that assumptions are pretty much never good--but I was given no reimbursement whatsoever. Hope that clears it up a little.
Thanks for all your comments. The one thing I wanted to also clear up was that $350 was not any reimbursement or bonus, it was my weekly salary. This has definitely been a learning experience for me. I am tentatively arranging for another nannying position and I am scouring the Internet for nanny/family contracts and I am going to make sure everything, every tiny last little detail, is written out.
~ MPP

6/30 UPDATE:
Hello, this is the "slighted ex-nanny" from a few days ago. I am going to be drawing up a contract with the family I will be working with soon and I have a few questions about what should be negotiated and what is fair. Just a heads up, I will be working for them part-time three days a week from 9-4, and salary has already been determined. The boys are 4 and 1. Things I have Q's about include...
-vacation days: In the past, if the family took the vacation, they were always paid, which I will definitely ask for from this family. But what about if I take the days? Should I request a certain amount of paid vacation and sick days per year--if so, how many?
-paid/unpaid holidays-raises: when they should be negotiated; how much of a raise I should assume, etc. And anything and everything else you guys feel is necessary in a nanny contract! I have learned my lesson about making sure all the details get on the table and I'm going to do my best to not expect anything that isn't made crystal clear. ~ MPP

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can understand your hurt feelings. Not saying thank you would've upset me, too. But at least you got a nice reference, and some compensation.
But if you think saying something to them about it would make you feel better, then you should.

Did she say anything to make you assume you'd get a certain amount?

Anonymous said...

7:32 asked what I was going to: Did you come to a SET amount that you were going to reimbursed? If not, you might be SOL. You can say something about it now, but I doubt it would do much good.

Kind of crappy that they didn't even give you a going-away present, though...

Anonymous said...

7:41 - I know and it also didn't look like there was much time given before leaving, even though OP knew about it. Maybe you should've been given a little more money since there was such short notice.

Anonymous said...

That is sad they did not do more, but I am sure they are very busy with their move and all that- that involves.

Actually families are not entitled by law to give severance pay- so actually you are lucky you rec'd what you did.

There are just some families out there that are NOT big on gift giving. I speak from experience...
(been a with a family for over 4 years- got a B-day card only, usually no Holiday Gift or Bonus.
Those things are nice, but not required for families to do.
However,the families that do- acknowlege the nannies B-day, make her feel special on holidays, tend to have happier nannies, which in turn benefits the children...
don't know why so many families don't realize that.

emily said...

I think, honestly, that you should be happy you got the $350. It's never smart to assume anything in your job. Always talk about everything. You should have told your boss your needs & expectations. I think this is $350 worth of a learning experience for you.

Anonymous said...

well, they should not have said "might" if they really meant they would probably move. that's not really fair to you. i am glad you had the insight to realize it was more than likely to happen.

i'm really sorry they didn't give you more but i feel like it would be akward to go after the rest now. i would only do that if you are facing not being able to pay your bills. i think these people were a little cheap to also not get you some kind of gift to say thanks. even though they have been kind, i think you will be better off when you find the next family.

OP said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marypoppin'pills said...

OP
Part of the Meebo message may have been cut off.
I added your Update to the Blog post.

Anonymous said...

I guess things might be different in many states.I thought 2 weeks notice was pretty standard thoughout the US.

While it was very generous of you to get gifts for them, I am sure that mom has alot on her plate with kids and a move and may have truly overlooked the thought of a gift for you.

As a grown up, reality can be tough on us. Life changes and if you are unable to afford your vacation due to the 2 weeks of downtime beforehand you may need to simply find a new job now,start asap, and postpone your vacation for 6 months down the road.

People move,moms & dads get promotions, parents fall ill and their grown children up and move to care for them and sometimes people just need a change. If you love this family..be happy for them and wish them all the best!
Sounds like you are a great nanny and will find a job in no time!

Anonymous said...

6:26 could you be more condescending? Did you ever consider that when most people go on vacation they purchase non-refundable things like plane tickets?

lily said...

I agree with what 6:26 said about the mom overlooking stuff like that and being busy with the move, but where I live, two weeks is typical for employee-to-employer, not really the other way around, especially with no reimbursement. Also, it's not always that easy to just find a new job and start right away, especially for nannies. People want them to do trial runs and stuff like that, and for them to get to know the kids before simply leaving them alone with them all day.

cali mom said...

I immediately windered what the "reimbursement" was supposed to cover, and since you never clarified, I'd say there's nothing you can really do about it now but thank them for the wonderful reference and be glad you will soon be working for a new family. And $350/week? YIKES.

Anonymous said...

$350/wk? Please tell me you're part-time.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately, some employers are very nice, until they don't need you any more.
It is standard practice for employers to give at least two weeks severance when letting a nanny go, unless it is for cause.
Gifts are nice, but severance pays the rent!
I would not call them about this if I were in your position. They wrote you a good reference letter, and prospective new employers will call them. You want them to be enthusiastic about you when they speak to them.
My advice is to learn from this. For your next job, get a written contract that includes length of notice both you and the employer will be required to give to terminate, and amount of severance, which may be tied to length of service. Good luck.
A Nanny

OP said...

This is the OP: yes, I was pretty much part-time (about 27 hours-ish per week), but I'm also here in the South (Memphis) where the cost of living is a lot less. I am also a college student so I take what I can get! I probably will not call her as I am just not confrontational enough to do that, given that she did in fact give me a very good reference for another potential employer.

Anonymous said...

27 hours a week and getting $350/week is still complete crap. I don't care if you live somewhere cheap where the rent is $200 a month that is still awful! Go work for someone who is going to pay you what you are worth! Heavens.

Anonymous said...

27 hrs a week for $350 is not "awful." Unless my math is off, it's about $13/hr. OP is a student, not a professional nanny and she lives in an area where nanny wages are presumably lower than NYC. I doubt $13/hr for a student is "awful" in her area. I hate when people make blanket statments about ALL nannies REGARDLESS of where they live and REGARDLESS of what the market rate for nanny/sitter wages are. It is just silly to call $13/hr "awful" for everyone, everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I have to agree with you 11:29. I also live in TN and $13 per hour is very good payment for any job that doesn't require a degree, including a nannying job.

seattlenanny said...

I wouldn't have known what to do with all the money I was making if I made $13 an hour when I was a student. Doesn't sound too bad to me.

emily said...

OP: You should definitely ask for paid sick days and vacation--but bear in mind, these are perks that are given regularly to full-time employees. It's not exactly standard for hourly, part-time employees to receive paid vacation time, but you should definitely try and get what you can.

4-5 sick days per year is standard and 1-2 weeks of paid vacation.

Everything, including your paid/unpaid holidays & raises should be negotiated now, so you don't have questions later on down the road. You should talk about things like what housework, driving, travel pay, and the parents should talk about things that are important to them like TV time, reading, playdates, trips outside the home, etc.

Anonymous said...

If you are working three days, three sick days would be usual.
Go over the holidays with your employers to see which fall on the days you work. (If both parents are working on a holiday, you will too.)

kathleencares said...

I work as a part-time nanny and I didn't even think to ask for sick or vacation days. I just assumed I don't get them because I'm part-time. But if it's something that is important to you, it doesn't hurt to ask. Maybe ask the parents what they think it fair.
I would also be surprised if they would pay you when they went on vacation. I have never heard of that, unless you go on vacation with them. But good for you if you were able get that with your last family.
I would recommend writing down all the things that are important to you and make sure to discuss each with your new family.
Good luck with the new job!

ATL Nanny said...

The family should absolutely pay you for 52 weeks every year, whether they need you or not. If they go on vacation, they need to pay you for that time. Definitely make sure you establish this first, because some families with PT nannies don't know this, and it can lead to panic on your part down the road if you don't have it in your work agreement.

As for paid vacation time (of your choosing) most full-time nannies get two weeks of vacation and 3-5 sick days per year. Since you work half a full-time schedule (23 hours per week rather than a typical 40-50 hours for a ft nanny) I would ask for half the PTO benefits, so one week of paid vacation and maybe 2-3 sick days. Some employers require the nanny work 3-6 to accrue these benefits before she is able to use them. (This prevents nannies from using up all their PTO in the first month or so and then quitting.)

You should also schedule an annual or semi-annual review to discuss your performance, any changing duties and salary. It is exceedingly rare for anyone to be GUARANTEED a raise, but you should have the opportunity to discuss a raise based on both cost of living and merit on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen cares, I am not trying to be rude but I have an honest question--if the family decides to go on vacation for two weeks, what is going to happen to you if they don't pay you? How are you supposed to pay your bills?

I have heard that paying nannies when you (As a family) go on vacation is sort of a "holding fee" so they don't find a new family to work for while you are out of town, which I think is a good way of thinking about it.