Saturday

Down and Out Overnight Nanny

Received Saturday, July 10, 2010
perspective and opinion I am an overnight nanny who has just been told that I will not be need for the whole month of august because the mother is taking the daughter on a trip the first two weeks of the month and the father (because they are divorced) is getting her the second half of the month. I will not get paid for any of this. When I was hired in April I was only told of the two week trip not two two week trips. Should I start looking for a new family to work for for that month or for good? I really need the money because I just moved out of my parents' house into my own apartment. I can't afford to lose a whole month's worth of wages. What do you suggest?

22 comments:

DenverNanny said...

I would be up-front with the parents: you weren't told about the whole month and you can't be expected to survive without income. Unless they decide to pay you for the two weeks, which sounds unlikely, I would look for a temp job for the month. I'd tell the parents that you have to find other work for that month and with the current job market, you might have no choice but to accept a new position entirely.
Do you need them as a reference? I can't imagine this situation working out well for both parties unless you can find the perfect temp job.

TC said...

I've never understood parents who think they don't have to pay nannies simply because they don't need them. We work just like everyone else and we have bills just like everyone else. I know very few people who can survive an entire month (or even two weeks) without a paycheck.

I would look for something else, if you're having trouble finding jobs hit up all the nanny agencies and be up front with any prospective families that you expect to be paid even when they take vacations....which is standard in this profession.

I worked for one lady who's son was sick, luckily he was in diapers but he had a bad stomach virus that lasted 3 or 4 days and mommy couldn't dare deal with it she just HAD to go to vegas for a couples vacation. Lo and behold I got sick and couldn't work for two days and she docked my pay. I quit soon afterwards

Life With 5 Dogs said...

I think if you are available to work, you should be paid! I know that if I am not paid even for one day I struggle, that is alot of money to lose especially if this is your only income. I also worked for a family,were I took care of their sick daughter and then got sick myself and they tried to gt out of paying me for the sick days, I SAID NO WAY!

Village said...

I'd get a new job. Most likely, they will do this again, perhaps multiple times a year. What is Christmas going to be like? They obviously have no regard for you and your income.

I wouldn't tell them you are looking. They didn't tell you they were going to leave you high and dry. Give them two weeks notice, the second two weeks in August, AFTER you have another job.

Perhaps a contact this time would be in order.

Germanlina02 said...

I think if a family doesn't pay you for a whole months, they lose every right on you. If they were in day care, they would still have to pay for their spot to be held. Why would it be any different for nanny services?
One month is a long time for not being paid. Even though a temp position is great, I would look for a new job. I wouldn't wanna deal with this problem over and over again.

alex said...

I would definitely look for something else and tell them him you feel. You cannot survive without being paid for two weeks and see what the mother says. I don't know why she would think that was okay considering you do have bills to pay as well.

MONKEYSHINES said...

These are not good people and it will only get worse, nothing gets better with a family who nickels and dimes you from the start! it will happen over and over again,
looking for a new job and give these bumboclat parents the broom!

Nanny Sarah said...

I agree with the poster who mentioned the contract issue. I would make sure I have a contract in place the next time I get a new job. If you are working under the table, then a contract may not be in your best interest as it would be hard to hold up if you are getting paid cash only.
I think you should look for a new job, since yours was misrepresented from the start. They have put you in a tough spot and no income for a whole month is a hardship for anyone! They should do the right thing and just pay you the two weeks they didn't mention, but I doubt they will.

That's Nonsense said...

Find a new family.

MissMannah said...

Monkeyshines is absolutely right, if a family starts to nickel and dime you, it will only get worse! Forcing you to go an entire month without pay is absolutely ridiculous, especially since they sprang it on you at the last minute.

As for having a contract in place, make sure it is worded very specifically. I just discovered last week that my employers slyly worded my contract so that they could void it at any time to suit their fancy. For all my preaching about having a contract, it has just bitten me in the butt! They gave me the ultimatum of taking a substantial pay cut or find a new job and my lawyer looked over the contract and said the family was legally able to do so.

cali mom said...

OP, if you were being paid on the books, which I assume you are not, you would probably be eligible for unemployment benefits because you are essentially being laid off for that month due to a lack of work. o, if you're being employed legally and paying taxes, apply for unemployment. If nont, get on the books with your next job and see what you can do about temp employment.

In a perfect world, everyone could line up a new job and give notice at exactly the moment of their choosing, but in reality, this may come down to whether you are unemployed for 1 month of 10 months. If an employee who had been with me for less than a yerar tried to demand a full month of pay for no work whatsoever, I would tell them they were free to find a better job elsewhere.

You don't say if you are paid hourly or salary or whether you have a contract or not or whether you are FT or PT, but I think your best bet would be to negotiate that they pay you for 2 weeks of that time, use it as your vacation pay, and try to fill in with as much babysitting work as you can get for the other 2 weeks.

Nanny Sarah said...

Cali Mom...I may be wrong on this, but don't you have to be with a job for a year to be eligible for unemployment benefits? Also, since OP is only out of work for a month, she is still "technically" with the family still...will this be a factor as well?

cali mom said...

Hi Nanny Sarah. I know it varies by state but in California, you certainly don't have to be on a job for a year before you are eligible for unemployment. And there is some eligibiligity for a temporary layoff as well. In other words, if an employer tells a crew that there is simply no work for the next 4 weeks, but they are still employees and will be needed again as soon as there IS work, the crew could apply for unemployment benefits. Of course there are other factors involved but that's the basics in California.

WA observer said...

Nanny Sarah,

I don't know how it is in OP's state, but in Washington it is based off the number of hours one has worked. 680 hours is enough to qualify.

va here said...

As Cali mom said, each state may vary, but as far as I know in Va - I believe it is 90 days of employment and you are eligible for benefits. My husband was laid off from a restaurant that was closing for 6 weeks to remodel. He applied the 1st day (on-line!) and in less than 2 weeks had his 1st check. It was almost too easy.

Not sure if you said - but are you on the books, OP?

TexasNanny said...

I would start looking for a new job. I was in a similar position. My employers were taking the kids to visit family over Christmas for 3 weeks. In October, I was told "Of course, we'll pay you when we go." I spent two months expecting to be paid for those three weeks. Two weeks before they left, it went down to housesitting for two weeks while they had painters working in the house. Then the Friday before they left, my boss asked me if I wanted to use some of my paid vacation time while they were gone. They had decided not to paint. I took a week just so I could get by, but at the point it was too late to find a temp job. The husband even had the gall to ask if I would come into work on my off-day while they prepared to go to the airport. They did pay me a little to clean the house, but I waited two weeks for the list of instructions (included stuff other than my normal cleaning). It took me three days to clean everything on the list, and I was paid for two.

I stuck around because I had been with this family for two years, but apparently that's unimportant. I had assumed I would be with the children until they started school next year, but I was told at the end of May that they would be starting daycare in July. Now I've gone from 50 hours a week to less than 30 because I'm working part-time when they aren't at daycare. Starting in September, I will not be working for them at all. This is my last year in college, and I had expected to work for them until I graduated and the kids started school. It's taken me longer to graduate because I took evening classes so that I could be more
available to them. I've applied everywhere in the past month and a half, and I am still looking for a job. The agency where I live is mostly a babysitting service. I have been with them for three years, but I haven't had one interview since I told them a month and a half ago. I turned down a wonderful part-time position at the beginning of the year because I thought I would be working full-time for the next year.

Get out while you can!

TexasNanny said...

Oh and with the contract stuff mentioned above. My contract was simply a sheet of my paid holidays and vacation days. She told me when they made plans to travel that I would be paid. I'm usually good about getting stuff in writing, but I never thought I would need that. They were wonderful employers (well the mother was great, the father not so much) until last fall. Technically, I'm contracted to work until October, but I need them as a reference and don't want to burn any bridges. The mother came up with the contract because the nanny agency failed to provide one after we both asked multiple times. This agency is the only one in the area, and they are an absolute joke.

Nanny Sarah said...

I also live in CA and never knew all this. Thanks Cali mom. This would be one of the advantages of being paid on the books then. :)

Bostonnanny said...

MissMannah How did the family word it so they could get out of it? Do you think before a contract is signed, a lawyer should over look it?

I've been lucky to never have any problems with any of my families, but in the future I want to make sure I don't get screwed.

cali mom said...

Yes, there are definite benefits to being paid on the books. It isn't just because the mean old government likes to steal your money :)

On the topic of unemployment also, I've heard of people who didn't realize they amount they got was based on their most recent salary. So, if you get laid off from a $35/hr job and you're getting about $10/hr in unemployment benefits, don't say "oh it's better to earn an honest living than accept an unemployment payment" and take a $10/hr job. Because if you get laid off from that one, you've just eliminated most of your unemployment benefit which HAD been based on your $35/hr salary. It's now based on your $10/hr salary.

MissMannah said...

Boston: The last line of my contract reads:

"This contract is an employment-at-will. Employer and employee may terminate the contract at any time, with or without cause. If the employee is terminated without cause, the employer is not obligated to provide severance pay. If the employee decides to leave the position with cause, the employee will provide at least three weeks' notice or, if requested, remain until a replacement nanny is found. No severance pay will be provided if the employer wishes to terminate within the three week period."

OK, so I learned (too late) that basically this means that because it is "at will," the parents can change the terms of the contract to their whim and if I don't like it, I can leave and that would be considered "with cause." Which is exactly what I ended up having to do because I can't afford to lose $200 a week. Lesson learned: yes, have a lawyer read your contract before you sign it.

hugs2u said...

i'm so sorry to hear this. yes, look for a permanent job. i'd also voice my concerns about going one month without pay. hopefully you will have found something else before that month is up.