26 November, 2009

Fired Nanny Fired Up Over Dismissal

Received Thursday, November 26, 2009
Photobucket I worked for family Y for over a year. I started when their daughter was 7 weeks old. The baby was born with some temporary, medical problems. I knew this when I started. The medical problems escalated...and sometimes were hard to deal with. But I was attached to the baby, and stuck it out. I have years of nanny experience, but no medical training.

The family did a lot for me while I worked for them...helped me buy a car, gave me wonderful bonuses and presents. I felt like I really was part of the family. I got along great with them.

Last May..at my 1 year anniversary mark..I found out I was pregnant. I told them this right away, and we discussed options a few weeks later. I assumed I could bring the baby to work due to previous conversations before I found out I was pregnant. They told me they didn't want me to do this. It broke my heart..but I said nothing. I felt I needed to collect my thoughts before saying anything. They also told me they planned on only working me 30 hours a week, but giving me a raise..so I ended up making almost the same amount as a 40 hour week. This was going to be nice..I would only work 3 days a week instead of 4 or 5.

I discussed the options with my husband..and decided I couldn't drop my own infant off with strangers to go take care of another person's baby so they didn't have to do the same. I also should mention they only expected me to take a 6 week maternity leave.

My husband and I decided this would be a good time for me to FINALLY go back to school full time. We were making plans for me to quit work in December, a few weeks before the baby was due. I would take internet classes in January. We were going to use financial aid as our financial backup. We were also on a strict savings plan.

I hadn't discussed this with family Y yet. One day the mother told me she met a former nanny who took her baby to work and said it worked out fine. She was reconsidering the option of letting me bring my own baby. I was so happy. This meant I could continue making income for our family and also not have the expense of daycare.

A month or so passes and the mother talks to me about hiring someone part time..just 10 hours a week so I don't have to be at work so early in the morning..I arrived at 7. This person would also be my backup if I couldn't come in for some reason and also cover me during my maternity leave. I told her I thought it was a good idea and I was fine with it. She interviewed someone who was fine with the situation..but the mother decided to not hire the woman because she smoked twice a day. Alright. Well. I kept asking her if she interviewed anyone else..and she hadn't.

In October..at my 6 1/2 month mark...I work my birthday weekend so the parents can go away for their anniversary. I should also mention that I have had an easy pregnancy, and it never hindered my job. I was fully capable of doing everything I did before for the baby.

They go away Saturday night..come home Sunday afternoon and wanted to talk. I assumed they found a part time person. Wrong. I knew as soon as she said ' I just want you to know that I'm happy for you and your pregnancy' that they were firing me. I started crying immediately. Pregnancy emotions. Blah. They went on to tell me that they were worried about what to do during my maternity leave and couldn't find anyone to cover me..so they hired someone to replace me period. I asked them if they realized that I was 6 1/2 months pregnant and the odds of me finding a job were slim to none? They just said...well..we had to think of our daughter. How was replacing the only nanny she had ever had thinking of her? They daughter is very attached to me..and me to her. How was me being pregnant hindering her? I feel I am fully capable of continuing to care for her and my child. She'll be almost 2 at that point, and getting on the independent side anyway. They told me they wouldn't expect payment for my car for the month of November..but would expect a payment starting in December. They wanted me to work until the end of October.

I told them I had to leave. I collected my things and got out of there. I called my husband hysterical. I have no idea how I made it home. WELL...I didn't call her on Monday...I have no idea why she expected me to. I didn't want to go back to work for them..but knew we needed the money for the next 3 weeks. She called me and left me a voicemail Monday evening..saying she thought it would end nicer than what it was ending...and she guesses I wasn't coming in the next day. I called her back..saying I was coming in...and told her..I'm upset. You have to understand that. She couldn't understand why I was upset? Gee. I wonder. She basically was asking me if I was going to be cruel to her daughter..I was dumbstruck by this..NO...I would NEVER do anything to harm your child. It's not her fault her parents are selfish stuck up people.

She called me back about an hour later..saying she talked to her husband and they didn't feel I was in a 'good place' and felt that I wasn't capable of caring for their child. They were going to pay me for the next 3 weeks anyway. WELL..bless their hearts. They wanted me to come on Saturday to collect the pay. I dreaded the day.

I arrived on Saturday..and had to listen to them 'explain' themselves one more time..all while he basically dangled my check in front of me. They still couldn't understand why I would be upset. They talked about me coming on weekends to work for them...toward my car payment...but they went on to say that they basically needed to learn to trust me again. How did they not trust me? I'm still confused by this.

I collected my check..and left.

I'm still so angry over this whole situation, but sad too. I really miss their daughter. The while finding a new thing semi-worked out. I work 10 hours a week at macy's for a whopping 80 bucks a week.

We'll see how the next 2 years of car payments work out. At this point..I have no idea how we'll make the next 6 months. Bastards.

60 comments:

ChiNanny said...

I feel bad for you for being fired so suddenly, but why on earth did you let your employers buy you a car?!?! I think that was a bad move, and if you can change it so you don't owe them money for two years I would do it ASAP.

Amanda-poster said...

I got a good deal by paying cash for the car..and like I said..I had a good relationship with the family. I was desperate for a new mode of transportation. I thought I would be with the family at least 2 to 3 years..and have it paid off by then.

dadiswrongonthisone said...

I was in a similar situation with a nanny job I had. I got pregant and told them and they, instead of firing me, decided that they would treat me like crap and hope that I would quit.

They were absolutely abusive to me. They would constantly come home later and later (I was on salary and did not get paid for overtime) and started giving me heavy chores to do (huge loads of laudry that I had to take to the basement, which was very dangerous: the staircase was falling apart and they had a cat who was disgusting who pooped down there) and it was just in general horrible.

On top of everything else, the kids were bratty.

When I finally left to have my baby when I was nine months pregnant, the mother did not even say thank you even though I had been with them for a year. She just told me that they were both making more money now so wasn't it great that their new nanny was going to be making more than I was and working less hours? I remember I just stared at her waiting for her to thank me for caring for her children for the last year for 9 hours a day. And she did not thank me.

They were totaly jerks. I will never ever be a nanny again.

Blunt and honest said...

OK I did feel for you until you said that they were ONLY going to give you 6 weeks....6 weeks is standard, 6 weeks would have been hard enough for them to deal with (they stated as much) and you wanted MORE than that?

Yes you were upset but if your regular hours were Monday then you should have shown up on Monday. Not doing so showed lack of professionalism and gave them something to think about. They hired you to watch their kid and you didn't show up and didn't call. That's not how this sort of job works, you have to be there so the parents can go to work. That the whole point of a nanny job to be there when the parents work....

Life is tough, you should've gotten things in writing before you were hired when it comes to maternity leave and your baby. Those are things that you should have thought about BEFORE you got pregnant.

Sure they handled the situation wrong but so did you. You both screwed up and now you have to move on and think about what you're going to do from here on out.

dadiswrongonthisone said...

blunt and honest:

these people were jerking the nanny around, changing their mind like that. Yes, they have a right to but it still makes them assholes.

This nanny did not do anything wrong in my opinion. I hope these people's next nanny has sex with the kids tinker toys and posts the pics all over youtube.

Blunt and honest said...

dadiswrongonthisone said...This nanny did not do anything wrong in my opinion.
~~~~~~~~
Not showing up to work when expected and not calling is ok in your book? It certainly isn't in mine.

Sure the parents are acting like assholes, there should be no reason why she can't watch her child and theirs but that's their right as the child's parents. They get to decide who spends time at their house, they get to decide if the nanny is allowed to have anyone over. They get to decide the rules when it comes to their child and they decided they couldn't handle another child in their home.

Village said...

I know many nannies aren't going to like this, but being a nanny is a JOB, not a member of the family. It behooves the employers to have the nanny think she is part of the family because the nanny will do extra stuff for no pay, as she would do for her family.

But in the end, the employers are going to do what is best, and easiest, for them, which is this case is replacing the nanny immediately, which is also probably cheaper. Why should they work around her schedule? They have no obligation to her.

This is why a nanny should have a contract. That makes it harder for the employer to screw the nanny, which is what happened here. They sacrificed her to meet their immediate needs, and see nothing wrong with that. That should be a lesson to all nannies. It's a JOB. That's all it is. GET A CONTRACT!

Laura said...

um...sorry i don't understand why you're upset. you say how your pissed at them for getting rid of the only nanny the daughter has known but weren't you planning on doing that anyways? you already had this whole big plan to abandon them and they just booted you earlier than you planned on leaving. NOT their fault. they were right to find a replacement for you and i'm sorry but you were being over emotional and from what you sounded like, i wouldn't want you and all your whiny drama around my kid either. grow up. sorry....at least you got a job at macys...that's better than nothing.

Kaitlyn and Daniel said...

You guys need to read more carefully. She was going to quit because she couldn't stand the idea of leaving her infant at someone else's home while she watched someone else's baby all day. Totally understandable. The family then told her they would reconsider the idea of letting her bring the baby with her.

It was stupid of you to not go in to work, but these parents are total and complete assholes. I hope things work out for you.

A nanny who cares said...

I hate to say it, but the family kind of has a point. I'm not sure I would trust someone with my kid, who decided to throw a fit and not show up to work. I would also assume you couldn't be trusted with my child.

True, they acted like jerks when they changed their minds, but that's their decision. But, offering you 6 weeks pay for nothing...now that is VERY generous! I would take it, and be happy. January is less than 6 weeks away, so enjoy your paid time off and start school next semester.

oh well said...

OP, sounds like you will be a great parent. I totally understand how you feel about leaving your baby with a stranger. Which is.... exactly what your employers did with their baby when they left her with you. Is it any wonder then that it did not work out well? I think you can't just put all the blame on your employers for their (yes, crappy) reaction to a situation that you created. And I agree that the whole nanny-is-family thing is treacherous. I don't think that the parents are just into -oh, we are going to be nice to her so she does lots of things for free for us. I think it is natural to want someone who works in your home to feel happy there. But at the same time it is true that the relationship of trust that you have with this person is fragile, and has to be built constantly on both sides. If it doesn't work out it doesn't work out, and you shouldn't take it personally (or at least try not to).
Focus on the good sides: you are going back to school and you are going to be a mother! How exciting is that?

mom said...

I feel bad for you, nanny, because from your side this is very difficult.
However, you were going to quit anyway. (They were possibly wrong to dangle the possibility of bringing your own child with you and then pull it out from under you. They should have made a concrete decision BEFORE mentioning the possibility to you...but on the other hand, maybe they just decided to keep you in the loop as far as their thinking process was going..assuming that as a professional you could handle it if the ultimate decision was, "no.")


In the end, as a parent, I would not want to have two nannies sharing one job. That would be confusing to a child I would think. I think its probably confusing enough for a small child to have to have one set of parents and one nanny revolving in an out of primary care duties day in and day out. I would have made the switch to one nanny myself.

I think from their reaction there must be at least a little more to this story than you have written here...like maybe THEIR side of things. Maybe your reaction to the dismissal was a bit more dramatic than you are letting on? It sounds as though your reaction alarmed them sufficiently to have them fear that you mental state may make you unable to care for their daughter properly. It sounds as though they think you are somehow unbalanced...which they probably didn't before this if they were working to make accommodations to make your life better once your baby came. And the comment to you that she felt the transition would go better than it did also makes me think that.

Somehow I suspect the negotiations for your pregnancy leave and terms of employment after your baby is born left them a little uneasy about you. And the "breakup" scene scared them into fearing for their child in your care. I would love to hear from the parents. It is understandable that you were shocked and emotional when being let go...but even so, an adult, particularly in an employment situation, must try to keep their actions in reasonably in check even in the hardest of situations if they want to be viewed as professional and competent. If they can't, the people who witness any unusual outburst are likely going to view that person as volatile and lacking impulse control.

ravenswood Nanny said...

if you were being paid "by the books" you can collect unemployment insurance. you weren't "fired" you were "let go." as much as it hurts you i'm sure the family is upset as well. make sure you can still get a good reference from them.

cali mom said...

*IF* they flat out told you in so many words that the reason they were letting you go was because they didn't want to have to deal with your maternity leave or pregnancy, depending on what state you live in, you *may* have a case for pregnancy discrimination. Talk to labor lawyers and see what they say, and try to find one that will handle this on "contingency" (do I remember that term right?) That is, if you lose a case, you don't pay, if you win, they get a cut.

There are some situations where "domestic employees" are exempt from some labor laws, but since you were a live-out, I suspect the standard laws would apply, and in California, what they did would be illegal.

I basically ran into this in my last FT (not nanny) job, where I had an exttremely problematic pregnancy and was in and out of the hospital starting at 5 months, then on full bedrest at 6 months, giving birth by emergency C-section 2 weeks later. My employer did me the favor of actually sending me a letter spelling out in so many words how 'inconvenienced" they were by my pregnancy and medical leave. Problem is, they were ***REQUIRED*** to allow 12 weeks of unpaid pregnancy-related medical leave AND 12 weeks of unpaid family leave, which I had not exceeded, so the fact that things went south strictly because they felt inconvenienced by my pregnancy cost them some money >:).

I do have to say that it sounds like lack of communication that you basically flaked out on them Monday morning, if they had made it clear that they wanted you to continue for a while andf you had not made it clear that you would not be willing to do that. But as to all the rest, I suspect you hace a case. TALK TO A LAWYER.

mom said...

If you go to a lawyer, use one that doesn't have a consultation fee. This doesn't sound to me like something most lawyers would take on a contingency. You may get one who will take it on a fee basis, if he is hungry...but it's very, very likely not a winner of a case, for a variety of reasons.

Cali, I suspect you worked for an actual company, with above the minimum number of employees that made them subject to the laws you speak of.

Seriously? said...

Being a nanny is a job. Like any job you can be let go. I think you are missing the employers side to this story and are very wrapped up in your feelings. The family seems like after discussing it they chose to not have you bring your child with you, I can completely understand that and wouldn't want my nanny to either. Then they had to figure out what to do about your maternity and probably you quitting (which you even say you were planning on). So they decided to have the new nanny start earlier, probably because she needed the job and wouldn't wait to start until December.

By not calling when you should have you didn't act professionally. How were they to know if you would act professionally later? As far as thinking of their daughter, every child who has a nanny goes through the separation and reaquaintance period with a new nanny. It wouldn't have been traumatizing if you had worked the last weeks instead of blowing off your responsibilities.

And taking a car from employers seems like a horrible idea to me. Seems like there's more to this story because your employers were more than generous, a car, fewer hours with more pay, 6 weeks maternity (which is standard in the country but many nannies don't get) and you dropped the ball.

Tell it like it is said...

OP, I can understand why you're upset, but I think you really made too many assumptions in this situation: that you would be working here for several years (when you accepted help with the car), that they would allow you to bring your child with you, that they should give you more than 6 weeks maternity leave.
At a certain point trying to accommodate a caregiver to such an extent is going to complicate the employer's life, rather than simplify it. And what parent needs that?

Ann Nolan, Co-founder said...

Hi, Im writing from Australia so maybe the situation is a lot different in the US than in Australia but what you describe sounds like discrimination.

Discrimination laws protect pregnant women like you. It usually means that you cannot be dismissed if you are pregnant and can still perform the major duties of the job.

I would suggest you contact the Equal Opportunity Commission to talk more and find out about your rights.

However that being said perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here:

1. In future maybe do not be so quick to tell an employer you are pregnant. Usually you have legal obligations to tell within a certain amount of time but I would be surprised if its immediately. This gives you time to sort out what you are going to do while on maternity leave and to get the "feel of the land ahead" as well as ward off any quick employment terminations.

2. Consider if you really would want to continue working for someone who would ask you to put your OWN baby (6 weeks old when you return to work!!) in care while you go and care for their child. My guess is if you think about it you will say "No".

3. Look at restructuring your finances to get you through the next few months. Could you get rid of the car? Downsize to a cheaper model?

4. See this as an opportunity to enter a new phase in your life. Although its difficult the point is changing your perspective and turning this not very nice experience into a positive.

Good luck!

Ann
http://babysitterdirectory.blogspot.com/


3

nanny md said...

Other than involving the nanny way too much in their decision process, I fail to see how the family was in the wrong.

They have every right to feel 100% comfortable with their situation or change it as need be with proper notice. Personally, I would have let you go with severence pay for not showing up and not calling. You really just proved their theory of why they were letting you go.

ericsmom said...

Talk to a lawyer?? What did these employers do that was so horrible? I don't see it. They helped her with a car. What boss really does that. They offered six weeks maternity. And probably they would take her back after her leave. But maybe since she was a no show on Monday. It put them over the edge. It sounds like they both worked. So they were stuck with no childcare.

So they didn't want her to bring the baby.

How many jobs let you bring your kids to work. I tried that route. To find work babysitting and bringing my son. But people weren't open to it. Especially, in the area I live. If you have to work, you either have to use daycare or maybe find family if you can to help you out.

former nanny said...

I think the family in general sound like losers. They never ever should have told the nanny about how they had possibly changed their mind about her bringing her child with her to work.

I agree with the fact that I would never want to work for someone who wanted me to put my child in daycare so that I could nanny for their child. It just would make me feel horrible.

I was faced with a similar situation and decided to babysit in my own home so that I would not miss out on my child's first few years.

I think that OP has learned a hard lesson and the lesson is this: people are jerks.

To the people who seem to have no sympathy for OP: you really should try to put yourself in her shoes and then you will see that she was treated unfairly. Remember that this is a rant. Of course the employers had every right to terminate her employment. That is beside the point. Yes, OP should and will get over this, but when you have been in a situation where people are mean to you it really is upsetting.

Some people should not have nannies. They are just elitist snobs and nobody will ever be good enough for them. They want the whole "family" thing, they want to brag to their friends how wonderful their nanny is and how great they are as employers but in reality it is a big power trip to them and they cannot resist holding their power over their nanny. It really does disgust me.

I have so much sympathy for OP because I have been in her situation.

Working Mom said...

I think the parents bent over backwards to make this work. They limited hours in pregnancy (and paid her in full) and tried to find back up help. Calling them bastards and jerks just doesn't ring true and it sounds immature.

When my nanny was pregnant we decided she could bring her baby to work. She found her own back up during the maternity leave and never missed a day. As a working mom, I have to have someone reliable. Amanda-poster got mad and just didn't show up. That is grounds for termination at any job.

Some employers do seem like jerks. These do not. Too bad you destroyed the relationship. We are still so close to our old nanny even though she hasn't worked for us for 12 years! You could have had weekend work and supplemental income but you felt entitled. Your loss.

Mary L said...

I'm kind of confused at both the pro and con posts here....

They fired her for being pregnant but wanted her to keep working through October.

You can't expect someone to come back to work after being fired.

I'm not a lawyer, but I wonder if OP even needs a lawyer...wouldn't this be covered under EEOC?

I think the only thing OP did wrong was accept the car...I do think OP was a little naive regarding the 6 weeks of leave being chintzy and the employer not wanting her back after she had a severe emotional reaction to being fired....You can't leave a small child with someone you completely alienated...OP, the trust is gone, but it's not your fault...They did it.

Although I do think the employers were otherwise generous, I think they were morally wrong to terminate her during pregnancy. I just can't say for sure whether they were legally wrong.

ChiNanny said...

I'm a little skeptical that there isn't more to this story. She wants to hire another nanny so you don't have to come in so early (were you late a lot?)

These people either were so generous then snapped, I think the nanny was abusing their generosity.

nyc mom said...

I have to agree with the doubters here and there is a lot more to the story. All the evidence during op's employment suggest a kind, generous employer: helping her buy a car, "giving me wonderful bonuses and presents," reducing her work week but keeping her salary, offering 6 weeks paid maternity leave. Even at the end the employers chose to pay out the 3 weeks of severance pay AND told op she could skip the November car payment - choices they could easily have reneged on. In addition at the end, they seemed to face the both difficult conversations head-on at a time when many would have taken the easy route and fired nanny over the phone or mailed the final check. Instead, the employers attempted to have an open discussion and air things out. Even if OP or others don't like what they said, it speaks a lot about their character in my opinion.

On the other hand, as Mom and others summarized, there are red flags that indicate op was unprofessional and immature. She seems entitled to a lot of the benefits the employers offered that were way above the norm: 30hr reduced work week; 6 weeks maternity leave; hiring additional backup help. You have to wonder why this family felt they needed to reduce your workload and hire backup help? As an employer, if you were truly performing your full job description, I can't imagine why any of these concessions would seem necessary. Then there is OP's "hysterical" reaction to being fired and not showing up for work. Then being surprised that the employers would call after a missed workday and assume she wasn't coming back - or even worse OP assuming she could miss Monday without calling, then be entitled to simply return to work Tuesday with no repercussions.

Finally, regarding the pregancy issue. I highly suspect that the OP was not fired for being pregnant. I think the parents may have mentioned that to soften the blow, but I believe if we heard the parents' side we would find out they fired OP for job performance issues.

mom said...

I just don't believe her pregnancy was the cause of the termination. If that were to be the case, they would have started looking for somebody earlier and not stressed themselves about the many details they tried to arrange to make this an easier time for OP.
They were really nice to her up until a certain point (a point well into her pregnancy, after they had long known about it and bent over backwards to accommodate it) and then all of a sudden everything changed. This is more in keeping with behavior that occurs after a significantly negative event.

OP, are you sure you weren't overly pushy about wanting more leave, or coming in late a lot, etc? I got the impression from your post that maybe your husband was sending you in there with increasingly unreasonable demands...trying to milk that cash cow for every last cent...and you went one too far at some point. add to that your apparently unsettling outburst, and that's the last they wanted to deal with you.

Just because somebody happens to be pregnant does not mean they automatically get to win a discrimination lawsuit if they happen to be let go during the pregnancy...particularly if they were fired for another reason..which I believe she almost certainly was.

Phoenix said...

I say that they were thinking of their child end of discussion. It is their daughter and they can choose who is in her life. And people really don't give a dam when it comes down to it. Sorry but if I had to choose between being fair and my family, I'm going to choose my family. Which is exactly what they did.

MissMannah said...

I don't know about the rest of the country, but Oklahoma is an "at-will employment" state. Meaning, they can fire you whenever and for whatever reason, except for discrimination. They did not fire OP because she was pregnant. They tried to be as accommodating as they were comfortable with but it didn't really work out so they decided to cut their losses and start with a new nanny. Who can really blame them? It makes sense, and I applaud them for being so nice to OP when they went about doing it. I don't think they're jerks at all.

I think the real problem happened with OP had a breakdown. Yes, pregnancy causes out of control emotions, but she should have been mature enough to say she needed to collect herself and then come back and finish up the conversation. And then not even bothering to show up for work the next day when the parents clearly said they wanted her to work the rest of the month was the icing on the cake. I bet these parents were horrified to see the woman they had previously trusted with their child could act so erratically and immaturely.

Them giving her a car is a whole different issue. As much as we love our charges and their families, we are not in their family. You can say they treat you like family all you want, but you're fooling yourself. At the end of the day, the family is always going to do what is best for their children, not their employee. Accepting a car under the assumption of being able to work for them the next couple of years to pay it off is very naive.

Ed said...

If I were a parent I would have a serious problem with my nanny bringing her child. If there was an emergency like an earthquale or a fire the nanny may be forced to choose between her own child and the client.

The whole point of having a nanny is to give your child one on one care and that simply cannot exist when the nanny brings her child.

cali mom said...

Mom yes, I did work for an actual company and I did say that laws certainly do vary from state to state. It *may* be that labor laws for nannies are different enough that it *is* 100% legal in some states to fire them simply because they have become pregnant, but I'd doubt it. All the other stuff OP isdescribing happened AFTER they decided to terminate her, apparently only because of her pregnancy.

OP, perhaps you should start by calling the Dept. of Labor or Fair Employment and Housing in your state. I did that in my case and I think I remember that before I could proceed wih a lawsuit I was required to file a complaint wih them, which, if no laws have been violated, you will NOT be able to do, so they would have your final answer.

But... I do agree 100% with those who say that your employers were being extremely generous in offering you 6 weeks "maternity leave" with full pay, AND reduced hours for the same pay. Those are perks unheard of in the real world of "regular" jobs and add to that the fact that you are calling them selfish and stuck up after they actually paid you for 3 weeks of nothing whatsoever after you abandoned your job. So even IF it turns out you have a legal right to pursue some action, you may be better off trying to clear the air with them to get a good reference for next time you decide to seek a nanny job, and moving on. Consider it a good path to open with in your new year.

It's true that you WERE planning to leave the job shortly, and they just made their decision before you had announced yours to them, leaving you with a month of no job (or had you decided to NOT go back to school when they said you could bring your baby to work?). Anyway, when you decide to ditch your job with no phone call because you're mad at your boss, being fired is the most likely outcome in any industry. And it sounds like you thought you could just flake out on Monday and go back in Tuesday as if nothing had happened. That's very irresponsible. So my advice to call the DOL or DFEH is just so that you can feel that you have pursued all your options and gotten the true story on the legality of what happened. If I were you, I would probably rather set things right (with no expectations of any more favors from them), than try to squeeze more money out of this.

ChiNanny said...

Cali Mom, I think the point mom and a lot of the others are making, and what I believe, is that she did not get fired for being pregnant. We're not getting the whole story. Seems like there's a good chance OP was late a lot (why hire another nanny for mornings if she was doing just fine?) and there are probably other things. Those are things you can be fired for, and my guess would be that OP was fired for work issues, not being pregnant.

Bloomfield Babysitter said...

I was working in the corporate world when I was pregnant and 6 weeks leave was all I was allowed. Unless you or your child have medical issues 6 weeks is all the government or most companies allow.

All the companies I have ever worked for, as well as the one my husband works for now considers a no show/no call grounds for immediate dismissal. And I hate to say this, but acting irresponsibly like this would make me as a parent wonder what other little act of revenge you might pull in the future as well. Were they right? No. Were you right? No.

Sounds to me like the parents did what they thought would be best for their family. That obviously was not what was best for you.

Nannies please take heed. You are an employee, The parents are your employers. You are not and never will be a member of the family unless someone in your family marries into theirs! Have a well written contract or employment agreement that protects everyone involved. And don't take loans of any kind from your employer if it can be helped. If you must, then please make sure you have written contracts for that as well, separate from your work agreement. Keep it professional at all times and the disappointments and strife will be much less.

OP best of luck to you and your baby.

monkeyshines said...

Nannies please take heed. You are an employee, The parents are your employers. You are not and never will be a member of the family unless someone in your family marries into theirs! Have a well written contract or employment agreement that protects everyone involved. And don't take loans of any kind from your employer if it can be helped. If you must, then please make sure you have written contracts for that as well, separate from your work agreement. Keep it professional at all times and the disappointments and strife will be much less.


I have been a nanny for many years and these are words to live by. women who leave their babies to be raised by strangers are not decent. I can understand 2 folks have to work to make end meet but often they both work to feed their lust for materialistic items and some women are just not cut out to be mothers and do not want to stay home and nurture their children, it is a lot easier to go to work and pay someone to raise their children.

oh well said...

monkeyshines, I agree with the first part of your post.
But I find the second part of your post incredibly judgemental and makes me wonder if you are indeed as professional as you claim to be. Everyone's situation is different, and neither you nor I have any claim to decide what is more respectable. In any case, if "some women are not just cut out to be mothers", we should be thankful that they are smart enough to hire intelligent, warm-hearted nannies who will fill their children's life with love and fun.

VAnanny said...

I know I'm going to take some heat for this, but here goes. I have a real problem with the posters who say it is unrealistic to assume a family will allow you to become apart of the family. While I agree this is sometimes the case, it has not held true for me. The first family I nannied for was a military family. Mom got deployed for 8 months and had 3 children under the age of 5. It was hard on the entire family and especially on Mom. During this time, I kept Mom updated with emails and pictures and she really appreciated it. I involved her in all of our daily activities. I think this made her feel more at ease. I made it my duty to care for her babies as my own. As a result, a bond formed between me and this family through these 8 months. When she returned, she expressed her gratitude to me. I worked for this family for another year. It has been 6 years since I stopped working for them and I still play in active role in all of their lives. I am invited to all holiday and birthday functions. Mom and I go to lunch regularly. I am the one they call when there is an emergency. I am the emergency contact for all 3 kids at their schools. I am there for every school play, soccer game, and broken bone. Mom and Dad are honestly family to me. And I know I am family to them as well. So though this type of situation is not common, it DOES happen and I am immensely grateful it happened to me.

In regards to the OP, I feel she was somewhat shortchanged and that there was a serious lack of communication on both sides. OP should have gone to work as planned and should probably have acted more rationally but ultimately this family seemed to be a bit on the flaky side. But we'll never know the whole story so it is impossible to make a rational judgement from the details given.

Amanda..poster. said...

Blunt and Honest....

I didn't have to show up for work on Monday..I should have put that in. I was off on Mondays.

Amanda.....poster. said...

Just so everyone knows...I was on time everyday..if I knew I was going to be more than a few minutes late..due to traffic..I called. I worked weekends for them when they asked and stayed late. I wasn't a no call no show type of person.

TwistedNoodle said...

I get the impression that the family realized just how much it would be costing them in maternity leave, and paying for another nanny for that time. So, as far as saying how generous the family was being with the leave time, bullocks! OP didn't receive any benefits as far as that's concerned.

As far as I can see, the only perk she got in this arrangement was them acting like the bank when they financed her car for her. And now she still has to pay that back, (rightfully so). But they took away her employment, giving her a one month grace period to find another job. Being heavily pregnant diminishes her chance in finding employment.

cali mom said...

Well Amanda (OP), I'm confused now. IF you had Mondays off anyway, why did the mom assume you were not coming in Tuesday (or any more after that?) The parents had told you they wanted you to keep working for another few weeks so something is missing...

ChiNanny said...

"WELL...I didn't call her on Monday...I have no idea why she expected me to. "

I'm assuming she left upset and the conversation wasn't over. She didn't get back to them and Mom assumed she just up and quit.

There's still more to this story than we're ever going to find out from OP

Bloomfield babysitter said...

VAnanny...I think you are confusing having great employers-which I have had both in the corporate world and as a childcare provider...as becoming part of the family.

The family I work for now is great and they keep in touch with most of their old nannies. However I never kid myself into believing that they would ever put my needs, comfort or well being above heir own. Because they are great employers, they had no qualms about having a work contract written out one that is renewed every year. That to me is the sign of a caring and responsible employer. They thought enough of me and my worth to sign on the bottom line and ensure I am not left in the lurch should things change in their lives or mine.

As for the story OP is giving well there is always three sides to every story. One side, the other side and the truth, which usually lies somewhere in the middle.

VAnanny said...

Bllomfield: You must have not read where I said that I have not worked for them for 6 years and we still continue to have close contact. I just got back from a Disney World trip with them. I think it is very sad that you have such a negative point of view.

AND WE GET A LITTLE MORE OF THE STORY FROM OP HERSELF.... said...

Amanda.....poster. said...
"Just so everyone knows...I was on time everyday..if I knew I was going to be more than a few minutes late..due to traffic..I called."

On time every day?

When you were "MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES LATE", you called?
This does not jibe with your claim of being on time everyday. According to you, you were late enough to have to call on more than one occasion. It also indicates that there were additional times when you were late, but not late enough, IN YOUR OWN ESTIMATION anyway, to even bother to call.

"Due to traffic?" How many times must one be late going from the same point A to the same point B at the same time of day to learn what the maximum travel time may be (barring some truly terrible unforeseen road situation, which may legitimately happen ONCE or TWICE max in a year) and be sure to leave home with enough time to navigate minor accidents, traffic jams, etc., which are a part of everybody's daily commute?

VAnanny said...

Geez you guys are crucifying this girl! This is a RANT! She did not ask to be picked apart. It sounds like she was an amazing nanny that was perhaps a little naive in that she did not have a contract in place and trusted that this family would be there for her. OP, you have a baby on the way! And at least you have a job, no matter how small it may seem. Many are not so lucky! Good luck!!!!!!

Exaggerate much? said...

VAnanny--
Since when is not believing somebody is an innocent victim the same as a crucifixion?

VAnanny said...

Exaggerate: I'm sure most people would not take the term "crucify" literally. Sorry you did. I'm not saying anyone has to believe OP is a victim. Everyone is certainly entitled to an opinion. I just think most of the people who have commented are beating a dead horse. Don't take that phrase literally either. I also think there is a nice way to state an opinion. It comes across much better. I think Mom does a great job of doing so. Others, not so much.

Mary L said...

Well, we're only going to get OP's version of this story, and she's claiming their were no attendance or performance issues that resulted in her discharge...I don't think it's worth parsing her statements to try to twist things around and claim dishonesty...It's not like this was courtroom testimony.

It's obvious that the employers in this case were generous to a fault up until the point that they realized they would be paying for OP to divide her time between their child and hers. It was not a sacrifice they wanted to make, and they should have been more firm upfront with OP rather than waffling on her until she reached the advanced stage of pregnancy and let her go with no prospects and a bill for a car payment.

OP,if it seems too good to be true, keep one eye open in the future.

VAnanny said...

Well said, Mary L.

YOU'RE RIGHT VAnanny said...

I'm sorry : (

Best of luck to you OP, and enjoy that little miracle you're about to have. That's where your focus should be. Let this go. Be happy.

Bloomfield babysitter said...

VAnanny...I read your entire post and I stand by what I said. I am not negative I am realistic. I would never put anyone's needs above what's best for my family and if people were honest here I doubt they would as well. Would YOU put someone else ahead of your own family? I doubt it. And when it comes to money, people get strange. Even among close families.

I stand by what I say. Paling around with your employer is great. Getting nice perks and gifts and being like a sister to the mom all great. But when it comes to money even sisters can turn on each other. Nothing shows a professional nanny more respect and honor then a work agreement in writing that ensures her protection should anything change.

don't bash OP said...

Bloomfield Babysitter,

I don't really think anyone is doubting that it is right to put your own family first. But I do agree with the posters who have said that OP is being unfairly attacked. These parents waffled and did not stand firm on what they wanted and jerked her around until she was too pregnant to easily get another job. And I think that is unfair. I am not suggesting that it is wrong for them to put their own child first. On the contrary, I would not want my nanny to bring their newborn with them. I would rather have my child in an accredited childcare center where they would have regular curriculum and evaluations of their goals. (Yes, good infant rooms plan curriculums.)

However, I think all in all these parents sound like jerks. They should have stuck firm on their original decision and given plenty of notice to OP without changing their minds.

As for the car issue, it was wrong of the parents to offer their nanny a car. They are not a bank and they shouldn't have acted like it and solicited Nanny into a false sense of security with them.

And for the record, you can have a family relationship with your nanny family. I am a nanny to a little boy and have been since he was a newborn. He is a family member to me and the parents treat me with the utmost respect. He and my child are like brother and sister. I would not, however, take a car from them if they offered, nor would I take it from any of my own family members. But to bash OP for a bad decision and fail to see how she was treated meanly (they actually asked her if she would now be cruel to their daughter? How presumptuous and insulting!) is just failing to see her side of it.

Is she perfect? No. Are these parents a-holes? Yes.

VAnanny said...

Bloomfield: This is simply an "agree to disagree" situation based on two individual's different experiences. Let me also say that your term "paling around" does not adaquately describe our relationship but thank you for your attempt at labeling something you know nothing about.

Don't Bash: Very good points. I too agree that it was wrong of the PARENTS to pay for a car for nanny. And thank you for validating that it is, in fact, possible to have a strong familial bond with families you have worked for.

Andrea said...

I also take issue with the people who keep saying that a nanny can't be part of the family, and can only ever be an employee. In my experience, it usually ends up being a strange mix of the two that simply doesn't occur in any other situation. As a parent, bringing a nanny into your home takes much more faith and trust than hiring someone to make espresso drinks or keep books. It's true that it's naive to expect to find yourself on par with a family member as a nanny, but at the same time, I think it's reasonable and fair to expect that giving their child love and care full time will earn a nanny a little more consideration than the gardener or the grocery store clerk.

Mary L. said...

You are part of the family as long as the family's goals and your goals are completely in sync.

If your priorities or their priorities change significantly, so does the relationship.

Bloomfield babysitter said...

Mary L Amen!

And I never said the parents were right to treat the nanny this way. Hopefully she will live and learn.

One would hope the nanny would be treated better then a gardener or mechanic, but sadly that is often not the case. Often the nanny is paid less per hour than the hairdresser, the mechanic, the housekeeper or the dog walker. I happen to be lucky to work for an excellent family, some of us do get lucky that way. I am treated well and am happy but I attribute a large part of that to the fact that my expectations as well as my employers are spelled out and regularly reviewed so we are all on the same page.

I stand by my earlier statements. A great, close and family like relationship with your employers is fine but a solid, clear contract is the B E S T bond a nanny can have with her or his employer.

CuriousDad said...

Ever thought on why a nanny is paid less then a gardner or a mechanic?
While you may have charge of their prcesious children. It probably is thought of as an entry level position by most parents. Besides those that cannot really afford an actual nanny wanting a glorified babysitter. Something someone does while going to school before going on to a career.
I am basing this thought on the great number of nannies advertising for work of young college students. In many minds someone 18-25 is an entry level worker. Especially if it is a job they are doing while going to college. And they Will not equate all those years of babysitting and helping their own family prior to 18 to be nanny work experience.

Bloomfield babysitter said...

Curious Dad, your idea has some valid points and that may well be the case in many circumstances. I also find there are a lot of people out there who just want to skimp when it comes to childcare. And yes, there are way too many [people who want the luxury, and a professional nanny is a luxury, of a private nanny for their kids and care at home when they really can't or won't pay well enough. Whatever the reason, they often end up with sub-par care. Then who suffers? The kids.

dadiswrongonthisone said...

Dad,

I totally agree. Many young college co-eds think they can just slide right into a cushy 15-20 dollar an hour job. I would much rather pay someone who is more experienced: not just with kids, but in life!

nothanks said...

geez. no, u couldn't keep my child after your tantrum. and, the family never should have purchased a car for you. poor boundaries all the way around! i don't know if i would have given you 3 weeks pay after you no-showed. well, i do know: i would not.

Sorry To Hear All That, But... said...

While I do feel sympathy for this nanny being pregnant and unemployed...I must say, this post (among a scad of other nanny nightmare stories) is just the billionth example for WHY NANNIES NEED A CONTRACT. It'd be nice to use honor system regarding the verbal agreement prior to starting employment, but anyone with any experience and sense knows that's a lot easier said than done. (Pun intended.)

Judging from what you said, these people didn't sound saintly...but, they ultimately have the right to decide what they think is best for their daughter...even if they're being stupid about it. It's their child.

Contracts are tough enough to stick to as it is (my contract has been breached multiple times as a nanny, sadly), but at least I know if the you-know-what ever hits the fan...I'll have something concrete to protect myself with.