17 November, 2009

Nanny is Feeling Shortchanged by MB

Received Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I've been taking care of the same three children almost two years and all has gone well. Regular raises, vacation, no sick time or benefits but I don't ask for or need either I was happy until this past September.

Mom enrolled all three kiddos in extra curricular activities so basically two days per week I now have 90 minutes free tine while the kids are at various activities. When my review came up in July she never mentioned this and when she let me know her plans when school started she asked if I would mind using my car to shuffle them around I said no problem. We agreed an extra $50.00 per week was fair for use of my vehicle and gas since they don't have an extra one for my use. She offered that amount and I accepted. Now for the problem.

She has cut those three hours from my weekly pay. When I brought it to her attention she said she did not cut my pay since she's reimbursing me for my car use . I earn $15.00 per hour. In fact, she said, I am actually getting $5.00 more per week! I explained that the $50.00 was, in her own words, EXTRA money for gas and wear on my vehicle. She countered with the argument that I now have two days where I get 90 minutes all to myself to do with as I wish. I reminded her that there is not enough time for me to go home and come back, so it's not truly a break and she does not live near where I can use the time for myself.

The following payday her husband came home from work early and explained that it is not right for me to expect to be paid for time I don't work and I could use that time to do my family food shopping. I explained why that won't work for me since I have a large family, often shop in BJ's and would have neither the time nor room to complete the task and transport the kids. He said he and his wife would discuss the situation.

The following payday the wife said they had a great idea. They have a housekeeper four hours a week. they would let her go and I could do their housekeeping! When I was hired I made it perfectly clear I do not do housekeeping of any sort other than clean-up after the kids. I also happen to know they paid their housekeeper $125.00 for the four hours she worked there a week. Now they expect me to do it for $45.00. When I brought these facts up the mother was not pleased. She said she felt hurt that after all this time I would want to take advantage of them and expect payment for time off. I declined and so I am being paid for three hours less per week plus the gas stipend.

Things have been tense between us since. I don't think I am being unreasonable but then again maybe I am. I would appreciate other people's advice on this matter.

54 comments:

H said...

First of all, I do not think that you are taking advantage of them in any way shape or form. I think these people said that to you because you called them out and they went on the defensive.

It was rude and mean of them to accuse you of taking advantage of them. Clearly you are putting yourself and your family first, as you should do. All you want is what is coming to you and what is fair.

I would stay there until I found another job if I were you. It is too bad but apparently they do not appreciate you as much as they should.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Nanny with Great Advice said...

I think you are in the right 100%. Just because you have that hour and a half does not mean much if you cannot use that time and say...see a movie, meet a friend for lunch, etc. When if one of the children is sick and cannot attend the activity, gets injured or the activity is canceled for whatever reason? In other words, you need to be on call for the children.
Sounds to me like the parents are being cheap and if you really, really need the job...you have no choice but to comply. However, if you think you can get another job...I would move on and give 2 weeks notice.
The fact that you tried to talk things out w/them and stood your ground is to be respected. They don't seem like the type of parents who are willing to compromise.

gym rat said...

How refreshing to actually see a post where a nanny stood up for herself! Usually I'm screaming at my computer screen at some of you, lol.

I agree with H 100% and kudos to you for diplomatically confronting the parents.

Edie said...

That ninety minues is not time to yourself. You are on call for them at that time. If the activity was cancelled, someone was sick, etc, you would be expected to work.

They should be paying you for that time that you are on call for the children if needed.

I do not think you are taking advantage of them whatsoever.

The use of your car/mileage will add up fast. Keep track of it and make sure you are getting paid fairly. I made that mistake once-used my car on the job without any extra pay and it put just under 5000 miles on my car in ONE year.

It doesn't sound like your relationship with the family will recover from this situation which is sad. I think no matter what the compromise is, one side will feel hurt and slighted. It might be time to move on.

xfileluv said...

They sound extremely petty. You are in the right. I hate to say it but I agree; it's probably time to look for another family. Sounds as if resentment is building between all of you, and we all know that never ends well. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Village said...

YOU ARE NOT BEING PETTY. They are being miserly, and doing it on the sly. When she said 'extra', it was a bait and switch and she knew it.

What a mess. Money can mess up the best relationships.

It's too bad they got cheap. They are mad because you called them on it. I'm afraid you are just going to have to deal with it or get a new job, but good for you for standing up for yourself.

djembé said...

I'm a nanny myself and I agree with those who are saying YOU are in the right. Those 90 minutes aren't fully yours and you should be paid for them. A good rule of thumb is that if you couldn't use that downtime to work at another job and make up the missed money, that downtime isn't really down and should be paid.

In some cases the employers and the nanny will agree that if the downtime is truly child-free, you receive pay at 1/2 rate; if the children are sick or the activity is cancelled then you of course receive pay at the full rate. In other cases, you agree to receive full rate during that down time in exchange for doing a few extra chores... but it is unprofessional and stingy on the part of the parents to simply assume that you will receive no pay without being informed of it ahead of time.

Good for you for sticking up for yourself... point them to this thread so they can see the other opinions for themselves.

Nanny to triplets said...

You are completely right. You should be getting paid for any time you are on call. My kids go to pre-school nine hours/week this year and I am paid exactly the same as last year. If they are sick, or school is closed (which it seems like happens more often than not) I am expected to be there for them. They actually bought me a gym membership to use while the children are at school. They have gotten a lot further with kindness, since I spend a lot of my free time picking up, walking their dogs, and preparing activities for the children.

CuriousDad said...

Ok,
I am about to put my foot in it. Since I disagree with some of what the other comments have been on here. Legally the family is right and the nanny is not.

You are an hourly worker, and if you have that time off, then yes they can claim it as non-working time and not pay you for it. If you get called in THEY better start paying you for the time you got the phone call.

Now the $50 dollars per week for gas plus wear and tear on your car. The Federal personal vehicle used for business travel rate is I think $0.55 a mile. I think from the sounds of it they have calculated how much to pay you based on most standard business practices. Mileage rate + X amount for gas + X amount extra for your trouble and possibly being on “call”.
But they won’t pay you for the time you are not working. That’s just bad business sense. Though nothing says you cannot negotiate and "on call" fee. Remeber you can always turn your cell phone off when your not working.

So my Question is how far do you drive too get to and from the place? Multiply that by .55 cents. How much gas do you use to do it? Multiply it by the amount of gas per gallon costs in you area. Add those two together and what is left is what they are paying you extra. If they are actually paying you extra.

So if you drive ten miles one way that is 40 miles total. Times $0.55 that is $22 for travel. If gas costs $3 per gallon in your area and you use 4 gallons of gas (10 miles a gallon, most cars actually do better then this granted). That would be $12 for gas. So they are paying at LEAST $34.00 for the use of you car, plus an extra $16.00 for your trouble.
Most cars get much better then 10 miles to the gallon. If your car got 15 miles to the gallon that would only be $8 for gas. For a 20 mile a gallon car it would be $6.

Get the picture?
Welcome to the business world.

Do you think, maybe they think you are being greedy, wanting to be paid for doing nothing and demanding it?

ChiNanny said...

Curious Dad,

While I agree with you that that is how it often works in the business world, it's not in the nanny world. Being a nanny is very different from other jobs and is usually governed by a different set of "rules".

These parents are being petty. OP I would go with their pay for now (making sure you are paid for any time that the kids don't have a class or get out early) and start looking. If the parents won't budge on this there's bound to be more issues in the future. If you do want to negotiate with them some more, bring up that since you are off you're going to turn off your cell phone or need an on-call fee like CD suggested, however they don't sound like they'd go for it.

CTMOM said...

So if it is really considered your time off and a child got sick during an activity or it was canceled, who is expected to be with the child for 90 minutes? I would make it clear that if it is your "unpaid time off", they will need to get the child/children if there is a problem and you plan to have your cell off until you are on duty again for pick up........Now if they did pay you, I do not know why you could not do something for those 90 minuted at the house. Maybe not the housekeeper's job, of course, but maybe help with the laundry or something else minor, but only if being paid to work, of course. That being said, I no longer have a nanny, but when I did, if my child had an activity, which he did at least once per week for 2 1/2 hours, I still paid her as she brought him there after I had already left for work. If he could not go or it was canceled, she took care of him. I did not ask her to do extra chores, but in retrospect, a little something for paid free time would have been appreciated.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I would sit down with them again and ask who plans to care for the children when they have no activities planned, since you will be off for those periods of time each week.

Well, actually, that probably isn't the best approach, although it would be fun, in a way.

Instead, ask them to consider that they are paying for you to be available to work, and mention that if one child was ill and could not go to the activities, you would still obviously be expected to care for that child.

You could suggest other ways of using that time, such as running minor errands for them, or doing a brief grocery run. I don't blame you at all for not wanting to try to clean house, but it sounds like they are determined to get their money's worth, so offering alternate ideas might help.

Another thing to consider is that based on the .55 per mile IRS standard mileage reimbursement, you are being paid to drive 90+ miles a week. Unless that is close to what you're driving, you are getting some extra money.

CuriousDad said...

ChiNanny said...
"Being a nanny is very different from other jobs and is usually governed by a different set of "rules"."

That is not a "rule" but a "custom" and as long as people exploit others for their own gain "customs" will be abused by both sides. If you do not follow the actual "rules" (Labor Laws). Then the only safety anyone truly has is the ability to walk (run in the old days) away.
Not everyone knows all the unwritten "customs" of hiring a nanny. I sure do not and I probably would not follow them even if I did. Mainly because I would not want to get into trouble with the "Law" for doing something that was an unwritten "rule". Like I have noticed it is an unwritten "rule" to pay Nannies a salary instead of hourly and has been for many years. It was also an all day (12-16 hours) 5 to 6 day a week job for the longest time. Then certain Nannies got rather Po'd at their employers and brought the contracts they signed to a judge and got their employers in some hot water. That has happened within the last 50 years. Now you wonder why everyone looks at the labor laws and want to deal with them strictly?

It also used to be the "custom" to beat/cane servants who performed poorly. So does this mean by me following the unwritten "rules" of dealing with servants. I can have a nanny that works for me beaten? With no legal repercussions? I do not think so. Labor laws are there to protect the labor force and the employer from abusive practices, but it is a two way street.
The Nanny does not losing the extra pay she is getting, her best bet is to find a new job. Though I argue she may be getting more back then she truly thinks from the $50 a week gas money.

CuriousDad said...

That last paragraph should have been:
The Nanny does not like losing the extra pay she was getting, her best bet is to find a new job. Though I argue she may be getting more back then she truly thinks from the $50 a week gas money.

Manhattan Nanny said...

OP, I'm assuming you don't have a contract right? This is a good example of the reason you need to get your conditions of employment in writing!
It isn't unusual to have down time when charges are in a class. I've never heard of a nanny being docked for that time.
I think your MB showed her true colors when she refused to pay you what she pays the housekeeper for doing the same job.
I'm afraid your relationship with the parents is going to remain strained no matter what you decide, so I would start looking for a new job. It is a shame, because I'm sure you are attached to the children, and your leaving will be hard on them.

ericsmom said...

What about insurance for your car? Does the insurance company know your using your car for work? Driving children around.

If anyone on here works for the insurance company let me know. Because I think if you are using it for work transporting kids around they wil raise the premiums.

Oh by the way you should tell them to take the $50 and shove it up their ass. Imagine, if they had to get a taxi to take the kids to these precious activities.

Christine said...

I agree that you should be paid for that time. Unless they are willing to stay with the children if something comes up, then you should be paid. I also agree that being a nanny is a lot different than working in the business world. Things are not done the same way for a reason. I also wouldn't want to work for someone who valued their housekeeper more than the person who took care of their children.

H said...

These people are cheap losers who are trying to take advantage of their nanny. Just because something is legal does not make it right. It just doesn't work that way in the nanny world.

MissMannah said...

I'd have to agree with pretty much everyone here and say the parents are being cheap and (even worse) trying to make you feel bad about asking for what you deserve.

Most of us nannies do not necessarily follow every labor law to the letter. It is a very unique job, so it has its unique adjustments. One of these is the general "rule" that if the parents request the nanny not work within her regularly scheduled hours, they still need to pay her for those hours. It was not your choice to not work, it was theirs. From what I understand, they didn't even consult you before they signed their kids up for lessons, so you had absolutely no input before your hours were essentially cut. Bring this information up with the parents. They shouldn't be able to deny it, so you should be able to explain why it is only fair you get paid for all the hours all of you originally agreed upon.

just sayin' said...

You tried to reason with them, and that didn't work. That's the only reason I would suggest this, and I know a lot of people will still disagree:

Wait until one of the children is sick and cannot attend the activity. When the parents inform you that little Susie will not be going to gymnastics today, feign a look of concern and exclaim how if you'd only known, you wouldn't have scheduled a dentist appointment that afternoon. Depending on how mom reacts, you can either make a show of trying to reschedule the appt (what dedication!) or show extreme regret (I just figured I should make the most of this time, and now I'm afraid I can't change my plans). Yes, this is passive aggressive, but it might also help mom to examine the reality of the situation. Honestly, it's pretty much the same as getting paid when the child is sleeping- it's "child-free" but you still have to be there in case.

CuriousDad said...

I admit I am still having problems with this. Show me in the contract that she gets those 3 hours no matter what. No contract? No 3 hours. Next time Nanny get a contract spelling out what you get when you get it and how you get it before you get it in the end.
I do not have a problem with the nanny feeling she deserves to be paid the 3 hours. I can see that and agree the parents should have went about it differently. I have an inkling that maybe the Mom Boss has been garbling up everything from the get go which is making this worse then it should be. I have the feeling that the $50 was in place of the 3 hours pay and she did not inform the Nanny properly and has been making hash with different responses since then. The father by making his suggestions probably will not back down and will stick to what the law says, in his mind if your not working “he aint payin”, simple as that. Because, he does not know these nanny rules of conduct that has been mentioned on here and if he does he may just not agree with them. However if you approached him about what happens if during your time off you are unavailable for pick up in an emergency since the time is yours. He might rethink his position, especially if they have to put restrictions on your movement. If there are restrictions on your movement and what you can and cannot do, by the bosses. Then legally your still on the clock. If there are no restrictions, turn off your phone for those 90 minutes enjoy your lunch break and sooner or later something will happen.

CuriousDad said...

As I have been posting on here, I keep seeing mentioning of these unwritten "rules". What are they all?
It looks more and more as I read about things surrounding being a nanny on here and elsewhere, many employers are looking at the nanny the same as they are their employees at work. So some of the “perks”/”rules” of the job might be lost. But by the same token some of the attempts at screwing being done to nannies at least can be fought against because of prior litigation.

In a year where there is allot of financial bad news. People might look at the extras they used to pay as a matter of course, some people might just have to rethink why they are doing it and is it truly justified to them. Just because someone can still afford something does not mean they are not going to be even more aware of where and how their money is being spent and what it truly is worth to them.

Not saying this is a good thing, in some ways I think it is a very bad thing. Right now college age students get into the Nanny field fairly easy and it has driven the position to become in many ways much better as the education level of the nannies in the field get better. If the income stream dries up and the Nanny field becomes stricter and not as desirable, then you might see what has been driving it to become more sophisticated and professional within the US, start to go backwards.

I wonder what the "rules" are in households with a house manager who oversees the nannies and staff directly and not the Mom/Dad Boss except for specific instructions dealing with the kids.

Does anyone think a system more in line with what England has for certifying nannies and their caregiver/nanny schools would be better for the USA?

sd said...

I used to work for a super cheap woman who did this exact thing to me! She would come home early from day one but insisted on paying me regardless. Eventually she started getting really bitter and said that since she comes home early sometimes, that I should be at her beck and call and come in early when she needed me or driver her bratty kids around and NOT ASK HER FOR PAY. Yeah right lady!

I asked her who in this day and age would willingly work for free and have a good attitude about it? She said I should. Thankfully I had the right mind to stick up for myself. The job ended (after 3 years) quickly after but it was SO MUCH for the best - her kids were so disrespectful and spoiled and the money just wasn't worth it anymore.

Plus when things are already tense, it's so hard to go back to how it used to be.

dadiswrongonthisone said...

Curious Dad:

You are really beginning to irritate me. For all of your education and American Psycho arguments, you are, at the end of the day, just another man who doesn't know what he is talking about. You have no idea what it is like to be a woman in a position like this and be treated like crap.

I don't know you, but I can tell you think you are smarter than women. I'm just not fond of guys who are constantly spewing like they are brilliant. You're not brilliant. You're just a guy. Just a dumb guy who is wrong on this one. You're just wrong. So just accept that other people here know more about the situation than you.

Most of the posters here, myself included, have liked your posts in the past and appreciate a male's perspective. But come on Dad: admit it when you are in an area where you can actually learn something from us.

Oh, wait: you're a guy. You know it all.

world's best nanny said...

If this was any other job you could call it your 90 minute paid lunch break. In fact, why don't you? I'm sure the parents get their lunch breaks at their jobs.
If it's too early to call it lunch, or brunch. Go to the doughnut shop with free wi-fi, grab a coffee and a muffin and begin looking for a new job.

Since they went back on the car, wear and tear, gas stipend, tell them you spoke to your insurance agent and legally you must use a car provided for you or pay more on your policy because you are using it to transport kids for business purposes. Tell them they must pay the extra, or provide a car, or come up with the original stipend. There is more than one way to de-fur a feline.

emily said...

Curious Dad: I think that you are misunderstanding what the other posters mean as unwritten rules. We are not arguing that the parents have to pay these hours even when the nanny does nothing, our point is merely that when the parents changed the nanny's hours without her agreement or consent they put themselves in a position where they most likely will lose that nanny's services when she gets a new job. She counted on a certain set of hours and although the parents are free to change the hours at any time, they will have to deal with the consequences of that action. The nanny is disgruntled which will most likely affect her mood towards the children right up until the moment she gets a new job and the parents find themselves in the position of renegotiating with a new nanny.

Hopefully both parties will learn from this and put it to use in the contracts they draw out next time.

o.p. said...

Thanks all for the advice.

Please note that I drive the kids a total of 78 miles per week now. They attend a private school and although it provided door to door bussing from home to school and back they will not bus them to the activities so now I must pick them up those days and drive them.

The activities are a 10 to 15 minute drive back to their home depending on traffic and drivers crawling at 10 miles an hour in front of me. So I am not even really getting the full 90 minutes each time considering that fact, which I pointed out. I usually just hang around the area since parking is also an issue and sometimes it can take 10 minutes to find a space. Counting that most group leaders prefer the parents or caregivers arrive 5 minutes before the activity ends and we are only talking about 65 minutes to myself.

I spoke with her again last evening and offered to do some vacuuming and dusting but pointed out that there is no way I would be able or willing to do the heavy cleaning like laundry or the bathrooms. She argued that they would then still need to retain the housekeeper and since she gets a minimum payment amount this is still not a fair compromise for them as they would still need to pay her the same. Please keep in mind these children go to a private, exclusive school in Northern Bergen Country. The family lives in a large home in an expensive area. This is not a question of their ability to afford this, they are just being cheap.

I realize that this won't be resolved and this morning I lined up 2 interviews for positions that start beginning next year. I plan to quit regardless. My sense of honor will not allow to quit before then. It's the holiday season and the busiest time of year at work for the mother, the dad works long hours year round. The parents are counting on me and I was raised to be responsible. It would be a hardship on the parents to try to interview a new nanny now and I want them to find someone good. The kids are wonderful and deserve the best. I plan to give notice December 1st with my last day being New Year's Eve. Even if she agrees to pay me it has left a sour taste in my mouth so I have just let it go and plan to make the most of the time remaining working with the children, whom I love dearly.

Thanks again.

emily said...

OP--I feel sad for you and I wonder if there is anyway you can communicate to the parents that this issue is a deal breaker without risking them firing you impulsively. Have you hinted that you will leave them if they cannot restore all of your hours?

H said...

OP, I commend you for your sense of integrity. But still: you owe them nothing more than two weeks. I would reconsider your decision and give them two weeks notice. They do not deserve more than that.

And congratulations on a great decision! Bravo! You can do so much better! :)

Mythos2001 said...

I am a 52 year old mom of a 13 year old boy. Their treatment of you is outrageous. You care for their children for heaven's sake. Their is no more important job except for being a parent, and they are being terrible parents in their treatment of you. I worked as a nanny when I was younger, and was on the receiving end of this same kind of treatment. For the last ten years that I had a nanny for my son, (that recently ended when she moved home to El Salvador to help her daughter raise her baby), I would never have dreamed of trying to pull this. It is hurtful and insulting. You are right to leave, and it is caring and responsible of you to spend this time on the children. When one hires a nanny, you are hiring them for the day, or week, etc. (Unless one hires someone just to watch the kids for a set of hours, say four, per day. Four hours in a chunk, not broken apart.) Shame on them. Because nannies are often young, we sometimes fall for this kind of cheap scam. Be proud of yourself for seeing through it, it took me forever to figure things out when I was young. In no job would the employer be able to say, "Well you might not have to do anything for me during this time, so I am not going to pay you." Feel free to print out the responses here to hand to them when you quit, to give them a reality check. I was so grateful to my nanny for loving my son like a second mother; knowing I had someone as back up when I had no family nearby; her sweetness and kindness and patience helped shape who my son is today. We all miss her still. I have seen a couple of mothers I know try this on their nannies, to no avail, out here in Los Angeles. One of them said to me, "Well, we are paying for private school now, we have to make it up somewhere." These are women who are incredibly well off. But being wealthy doesn't seem to correlate with not being incredibly cheap. As a parent, when you are lucky enough to find an incredible nanny, to nickle and dime them shows you don't value them, or your child or children nearly enough. Take care, and if you ever move out to California, let me know, I will hire you!

just another mommy said...

Also, I believe that as a nanny driving around someone else's children on a regular basis, you are supposed to have extra insurance on your car. For some reason, I remember reading about that on here - someone correct me if I'm wrong. So they should be paying for that as well.

At this point, I would go to them and tell them you need extra for your vehicle per week because you didn't realize the price of extra wear and tear plus gas prices and that it is a strain to your budget. Ask them for $75 a week instead.

CuriousDad said...

OP

Glad to see you stick to your guns and are going to another job. That they have added more driving for you in your own car does look to me like they are being cheap and trying to get more out of you then you are doing for them.

Good luck.

oh well said...

I have been reading the comments and OP's additional info and I agree that these employers sound cheap.
But I also see nothing wrong with the basis of
curiousdad's reasoning. Nannies should not be paid
just so because their employers can afford it. It has to be fair.

ericsmom said...

O.P.

Let me guess Dwight Morrow School in Englewood?? You don't have to respond. But I live in NNJ too close to that area.

I hope you find a job where you are appreciated.
And when I did babysitting jobs, I was never docked wages if the kids were in activities.
Your still working. Just like the other posters. If the class lets out early, one of the children get sick. Starts snowing and they have to end class early. Your there to retrieve them

ericsmom said...

Opps! meant just like the others posted above their comments

MissMannah said...

Good for you, OP! And when you turn in your notice, don't let them sweet-talk you into staying. Also, if you choose to take another nanny job, make sure it is understood you are a salaried, not hourly, employee. I, and other nannies I know, get a weekly base pay, which covers UP TO 35 hours a week. Anything after 35 is hourly compensation. But I rarely ever actually work 35 hours a week. This week I will have only worked 12 hours but get the same amount on my paycheck.

CuriousDad said...

emily said...
Now THAT unwritten "rule" applies to everyone, not just nannies. If you want to keep your employees happy and working for you, you should pay them the agreed upon wage. Including hours agreed too at the start so they do not lose income. But I can see why it would be considered by nannies as a unwritten "nanny rule" as the employers changing hours after agreeing to a verbal or written contract, is probably run into more often then many other jobs.

CuriousDad said...

dadiswrongonthisone said...
Sorry you feel that way.

DenverNanny said...

Curious dad:
FYI: The federal rate includes gas and mileage. At one job, I was being paid a flat $50/week for gas & mileage for transporting 2 kids to and from school and minor errands. When I added it up "the way the labor laws say", the family owed me over $150/week.

Good for you, OP!!

cali mom said...

OP, I'm glad you seem to have some other job options. Good luck on the interviews.

I can see both sides of this, since if you are COMPLETELY off-duty, they are not required to pay you your hourly rate, BUT it seems pretty clear you ARE on-call for the time the kids are actually, physically in class with the teacher, so in that case, of COURSE they have to pay you. You could go ahead and inform the parents that you have given their phone numbers to the activity centers so that if a child needs attending to during the scheduled class time they can be contacted, since you are off duty and unavailable during those times, and watch their reaction. Even though you are about to give notice, I don't think you should have to suck it up for the next 2 months.

But what it really boils down to is that the parents are being cheap a$$holes, and nickel and dime-ing you instead of showing some basic respect and appreciation fo the important role you play in their family life. They're screwing themselves, (and their kids) and when you give your notice (AFTER you have gotten your letter of recommendation from them), you could let them know exactly WHY you decided to leave.

formernanny said...

agreed, cali mom.

and it is really sad that these parents sound like the type to not speak well of their nanny after she leaves and I think that sucks. I once worked as a nanny for two doctors and they paid me a salary and they did the same thing. they would always come home late and then when I asked them for the overtime, they would say "well we came home early that other time."

This is just another case of people who don't treat their nanny as people because they think they are such hot sh*ts that anyone should feel lucky to just be in their presence.

And to OP: the kids may seem wonderful now but they are being raised by asses so they will most likely turn into asses too before long. Very sad!

cali mom said...

Formernanny, I do just have to point out that I think it is ABSOLUTELY fair that if nanny leaves early sometimes and gets full pay, then she should not automaticallY get extra pay for staying a bit late on some occasion, as long as the time evens out both ways within reason. THAT is what salary means as opposed to hourly pay–on any salaried job I've ever had, I don't get extra pay for working after hours, but I *do* get paid for company holidays or occasional situations where boss sent me home early. Salary vs hourly...choose one and stick with it, don't expect the best of both worlds.

CuriousDad said...

The Standard Mileage rate is not part of the “labor laws” if I made a statement or sounded like I implied it was, I apologize

The Standard Mileage rate is a tax deduction under chapter 4 of IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses. Many employers follow it as a method to compensate the employee for the use of their personal vehicle. An Employer can compensate you for more then the rate (the amount over the rate gets on to your gross wages earned) or less then the rate. It is not a requirement that they compensate you for the usage of your vehicle. The rate is a tax deduction, so if you use your car to travel to and from a school and the employer does not fully compensate you for it and it is a requirement for you to use your personal vehicle, then if you itemize you can take it as a deduction on your taxes.
In my case my employer compensates me for travel outside of my commuting distance to use my personal vehicle at .55 cents a mile Plus I can fill up with the company credit card or expense filling up my tank with gas for the trip. This is a benefit to me from my company to compensate me for the use of my vehicle. Since my company provides me with this benefit, I cannot claim it as a tax deduction. But if they did not fully compensate me, then whatever they do NOT compensate me for I can take as a tax deduction.

Please note I am not a certified tax person, so take what I have said with a HUGE grain of salt and consult with an actual tax person if you want to use it as a tax deduction.

Note the following are PDF articles from the IRS website on this.


http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p463.pdf

and
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=200505,00.html

Portlander said...

I agree with dadiswrongonthisone said... CuriousDad's comments come across as awfully paternalistic here. Conflating the historic exploitation of domestic workers with this situation of a nanny wanting her employers to respectfully honor her work agreement is ridiculous.

Mary L said...

CuriousDad,
You are so off base on this OP's case that it is shameless.

"Remeber you can always turn your cell phone off when your not working."

When the nanny drives the child to the soccer practice or the piano lesson, she is acting in loco parentis. She can not turn off her cell phone. She can not make plans with that time that take her more than a half hour drive away from where that class is. If the kid throws up during class or the instructor doesn't show up, who do you think is going to get the call? In such a situation, do you honestly believe the parents are going to leave work to get the kid and not dock the nanny for leaving her post?

Assuming they were hourly, would you have pilots and flight attendants not be paid for their time waiting in the terminal in a strange city because it was "free" time? Would you want your pilot wandering the strange city and delaying your flight?

This is not nanny's free time, and these are cheap-ass parents.

CuriousDad said...

To all, who seem to think I am all for the parents on this. Did you really read what I wrote?

First on the right and wrongness of what the employers did. I was trying to clarify why they may have done so and that they were LEGALLY right.

There is sometimes a difference between something being legally right and something being right.

As I stated in my fourth post: "I do not have a problem with the nanny feeling she deserves to be paid the 3 hours. I can see that and agree the parents should have went about it differently."

In the bottom of the same post:
“However if you approached him about what happens if during your time off you are unavailable for pick up in an emergency since the time is yours. He might rethink his position, especially if they have to put restrictions on your movement. If there are restrictions on your movement and what you can and cannot do, by the bosses. Then legally your still on the clock. If there are no restrictions, turn off your phone for those 90 minutes enjoy your lunch break and sooner or later something will happen.”

My comment at that point was that the PARENTS stated she was not on the clock. If she is not on the clock then she is not responsible for the child, they are.

If she is responsible, then she is still on the clock. Again as I stated at the end of the fourth post:
“If there are restrictions on your movement and what you can and cannot do, by the bosses. Then legally your still on the clock.”

However you have to prove to the parents that is true. Sometimes the only way is to show them.

Please note that you MIGHT have legal recourse in small claims for those hours because of that. Especially if you can show that the only number that the place was to call was yours and you had to ensure you were available and could not really do anything else during that period. But ask a real lawyer not me about that last.


PS
Flight attendants do not always get paid while at the terminal they get paid by the “Flight Hour”
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070714022520AA74reU
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2007-07-30-attendants-morale_N.htm
One passage on the second link really caught my eye:
The attendants only get paid once the plane leaves the gate. If a plane is stuck at the terminal waiting for air traffic control to clear it, flight attendants are generally off the clock.
"I can work a 14-hour day and get paid for five of it," said Rogat.

Now that SUCKS!

sotiredofyou said...

Oh my God Curious Dad, please just shut up. Please.

Jenn said...

I hate to add fuel to the fire but CuriousDad is right. My Dad Boss is pilot-

Pilots and flight attendents get paid per hour of flight time. The clock starts as soon as they push back from the gate and stops once they are at the gate of the next city. This is one of the reasons they don't always mind being stuck on the runway, they are getting paid as soon as they push back from that gate :-)

That being said, this nanny should be being paid for these hours. It's not like she can just go do anything else. Hourly employees are paid when they are at work and don't have any set tasks to do. How many people stand around in a retail store with nothing to do if they are no customers? Their employers can't say "oh well, you didn't have anything to do today, so we're going to dock your pay three hours". I'm sure these parents wouldn't want to be the ones called if the little ones are sick or class get canceled.

mom said...

Op,
You sound like a lovely person. I'm sorry your employers are so short sighted.

Dadiswrong,
You sound like maybe you don't like men in general much. That's not Curious dad's fault. Just because you disagree with him on this issue does not mean he thinks he is better than anybody, that he is a bad person...or even that he is wrong. It's a blog. Lighten up.

Now as to the post:
I agree with Curious dad in that it is always important to adhere to all labor laws when dealing with employees.
HOWEVER, law or not, I cannot believe that the employers in this post are not completely ashamed and humiliated to do this to their employee. They sound like selfish, self serving people to me. As further proof of this...they are willing to fire their housekeeper at any moment to appease nanny if she decides she'd like to take her job...again, to save the parents a few bucks. Really, I hold people like this in great disdain.

If I had a loyal nanny that I and my family valued, I would never consider for a moment causing friction with her, or making her potentially feel anything but extremely appreciated and valued...and all for a measley few hours of pay a week! I could maybe understand if there were a three or four block of time between drop off and pick up time, but an hour and a half is not enough time for her to do anything...particularly since she must drive back to get the kids, as she mentioned, often in traffic. When my kids had activities, I technically had "time off' while they were engaged in the activity, and I would use it to read, do a crossword puzzle, etc. While I enjoyed these little snippets of time, they were just little breaks, which I filled with amusements...but not with the things I would have otherwise chosen to do with my time absent being trapped somewhere waiting for an activity to end. People need to realize that this is the same for a nanny. As somebody said, it's somewhat akin to docking nanny's pay for the time a child naps. Cheap. Cheap. CHEAP.

OP, I'm glad you're leaving them. they don't deserve you. And I hope they one day wake up and feel the shame they ought to...otherwise they will go on treating other people as though they are placed on the earth to be best used for their own personal benefit.

nannyonthebrink said...

they are really terrible employers. of course your pay shouldn't be reduced. give me a break. also - when you are carting around children it is not like mileage for an office job. Children cause huge amounts of wear and tear on your car as we all know so the $50 is a great bonus for you - it's not. it's fine, but not anything special. sorry you got crappy people. my gosh, just pay the 22.50 a week and keep your wonderful nanny. it doesn't even make sense on so many levels.

Tearing my hair out said...

For G-d's sake people, stop comparing apples and oranges. Different jobs have different rules, customs, perks etc. There ARE salary jobs, where overtime is paid.
I love ya Curious Dad, but even in the business world every job agreement is not the same!

CuriousDad said...

Tearing my hair out,
I agree, You are correct in the business realm not all contracts are the same. Some are way better then others. But you have to have a contract! To get anything beyond the basic labor laws. Otherwise you are relying on the good nature and generaosity of others, and as we have seen written here that is not always the case. If you do not have a contract the only thing you can depend on is the labor laws or your two feet.

mom said...

Amen, Curious Dad

justateanorange said...

oh, OP. i'm sorry. it sound like things were going so well. but, i'm very proud of your decision and how you have chosen to handle it. i'd love an update. i'd never expect a nanny to not be paid because my kid is at karate. this is bizarre.
good luck. their loss.