Received Sunday, June 14, 2009
I'm really not sure what I should do about this "situation" or what I'm even legally entitled to!
I started working for a new family 6 weeks ago. They have a 4 1/2 year old and 2 year old and the mother is pregnant with twins due in August. She is a stay at home mom, and hired me specifically to help with the twins once they were born. They wanted me to start earlier to get used to the family and to help with the older boys because she got tired by the end of the day from being pregnant.
The family lives in a very affluent town and they own a pretty well known business. They were paying me "on the books" through the company and offered me a top-notch salary plus benefits. I was told that payroll was done twice a month (but not told what weeks) and it would be direct deposit. By my 3rd week, I still hadn't received a direct deposit. I emailed my boss on a Friday evening and asked her when I should be expecting to be paid. She did not respond to my email that whole weekend, and when I saw her the following Monday I was told that I would be paid by the following Tuesday. I didn't get an explanation as to why there was a delay, but some companies hold your first paycheck, so I didn't chalk it up to much.
Tuesday comes and goes and I still had no direct deposit. I asked again, and was told the company had to cut me a check and it would be in the mail. I in fact did receive it that Thursday in the mail.
In the meantime, my hours were constantly being changed. I was being paid on a salary based on a 45 hour work week, but the most they ever used me in a week was about 30 hours give or take. One week they only had me come in 3 days, another day they sent me home early after only about 3 or 4 hours at work. I found it to be bizarre, especially since they were paying me so much money, but I figured once the twins were born I'd be making up the hours with overtime so it must not matter to them right now.
As I mentioned above, I was offered a benefits package. I asked repeatedly for information on the health insurance provided by the company they owned, but my requests fell on deaf ears. I was never sent any information. I knew that I wasn't eligible for 60 days, so I assumed they were just holding off until my 2 month period was over.
Payday came and went again and yet again I had no direct deposit. I sent an email to my boss that day (it was one of the days they decided to email me last minute to tell me not to come in) and I received an email response from her husband saying that it should be there and to check again later. The deposit never came. That monday I was told that there was a "glitch" with my direct deposit and that they were straightening it out with the payroll company. I was becoming frustrated but didn't want to cause problems.
This past Thursday night I received an email from my boss stating that they would be out of town again this weekend and I didn't have to come into work on Friday. I didn't think much of it because at this point, it was happening so frequently. Then yesterday afternoon I checked my phone and saw I had a voicemail from the husband. He said that after talking with his wife all morning, they decided that they were going to let me go, and that he was sorry and to not come back on Monday. I was shocked - I was always so flexible with all their scheduling changes and always did extra "projects" for them around the house whenever asked - not to mention the kids loved me (the 4 1/2 year old would beg not to go to preschool so he could stay home to play with me) I called him back and asked why they were firing me, and his response was "I don't really feel like I need to give you a reason, we just don't feel we want you as our BABYSITTER anymore." I tried to push for a reason, but it was obvious he wasn't going to give me one. He stated that he would pay me through this last week. After talking with friends and family, it seems like this family never had any intentions of keeping me long term as they had stated. I feel completely taken advantage of and they've left me in a pretty bad position with no severance and payroll being "behind."
I'm wondering what sort of recourse I have, if any at all. I fully intend on contacting a lawyer if I don't receive my last weeks pay, but other than that am I entitled to anything, or is there anything that I should do? I still have a key to their house (which they didn't ask back for) but I plan on sending it to them via fedex tomorrow and requesting a signature verification that they
received it - I don't want them coming back at me and trying to frame me for something because they know I still have their key. I plan on emailing them so I have a paper trail stating that I'm fedex'ing the key to them, in case any problems arise in the future. Is there anything else I should say to them, or should I just keep my mouth shut and not cause more trouble?
Thanks! I'm sorry this is so long!!