Bait and Switch

Received Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Opinion 4 I took a job with a new family at the end of August. What I signed on for, and what we put in the contract, was that this was a full-time position and would have me working 30 - 40 hours a week. Although I understand possibly slow hours the first couple of weeks, this "full-time" position has yet to materialize - at this point, I'm lucky to get 10 hours a week and go some weeks without working at all. I CANNOT afford this any longer. I've already started looking at other jobs, scarce as they are in our area, but I'm not sure how to broach the topic of moving on with a family that I've only been with for 2 months. Any ideas on how to discuss this with them?


Huh? said...

Since when is 30 hours full-time anyway? Just saying.

full time said...

30 hours is technically full time.

Claire said...

The first poster asked a question. The second poster isn't really right or wrong.

full time said...

I am just saying that at my last job for a daycare center I worked 30 hours per week and had full benefits and I was considered full time.

Village said...

Has the truth just completely gone out of style? THEY ARE NOT ABIDING BY THE CONTRACT. YOU ARE NOT GETTING ENOUGH HOURS TO PAY YOUR BILLS. That is pretty simple and easy to understand. The couple wanted a baby sitter, so they hired an on call nanny. That was not the job description.

fairfieldcountynanny said...

I would just be honest with them. They told you the job would be full time and it's no where near full time, so you aren't making enough money and need to start looking for a new job. If you really like them, since they only need 10 hours a week, perhaps you could still work for them, and someone else. It's really wrong of them to not abide by the contract though. Is there a reason they are not needing you full time, but presented the job as such? Perhaps their situation as changed (such as a parent losing a job). In any case, good luck and I hope you find something soon.

Claire said...

Then that was 'technically full time' for you. It was also a daycare center, which is a business. Depends on the situation.

nannette said...

full time part time making enough money to cover your expeses and if that isn't happening then go elswhere cause they don't care about you only what they need.

MissMannah said...

Simple. Don't work hourly. Make sure from the get-go that you're salaried, that way if you're working 10 hours a week, they are still required to pay you for 40.

I know, that doesn't help you because it is too late in this situation. I'm just throwing that out there for next time, so you have some job security.

You have to arrange a time to sit down and talk with them, sooner rather than later. I would say something like: "I'm sure you can understand that it is difficult for me to make rent with the few hours I've been getting. When do you think I'll be getting more, like we agreed upon? I love working with your family so far and wouldn't want this to cause problems for us so early on." Make sure they understand that you don't want to leave but if the situation doesn't change, you will. Also, if you think they would consider it, maybe broach the idea of going salary rather than hourly.

CuriousDad said...

Miss Mannah the law has pretty clearly stated that a nanny position is an hourly position.

Granted it is only enforced in the breach, but it is what it is.

I would suggest in the future that you come up with an agreed upon hourly wage with a minimum weekly pay. Whether they use you or not.

Yes, yes I KNOW how much it looks like I just said she should get a salary. However, salary implies avoiding the over 40 hours worked in a pay week must be overtime requirement.

Dear Abby just said...

I read a lot of things on ISYN and this one is pretty crystal clear OP. They offered you 30-40 hrs/wk, you accepted and now they are not living up to their agreement. You definitely have a clear case and I advise you to do like Miss Mannah said and sit down and talk them. It is completely understandable for you to move on..who wouldn't..since they are not keeping up their end of the bargain. I know nanny jobs are scarce, but if they can only offer 10 hrs per wk then you have no choice but to seek another job. 10 hrs per wk cannot pay rent, food, gas, etc, etc..and I am sure the know that too.
Sorry this happened to sucks I know..and I wish you only the best in your job search!!

MissMannah said...

OK, Curious Dad, let's break it down. OP can ask for a minimum weekly pay. Let's say she makes $10 an hour, so she wants a minimum of $400 a week for a 40 hour week. She is supposed to work 30-40 hours every week but will be getting $400 no matter what. But since she's hourly, if she ever goes over 40 hours, she'll be getting $15 an hour. But her contract says 30-40 hours and she's only getting 10 hours right now, so I would say odds are extremely slim she'll ever get 41 or more hours.

Sure sounds like the $400 weekly is a salary to me. Do you just like to nitpick?

I also find it very humorous that you always seem to bring laws into the discussion. Nannies, back me up on this one. Have you ever had an employer who precisely followed the letter of the law 100% of the time? I'd much rather have an employer who'd break a "salary vs hourly" law than one who'd break a contract.

CuriousDad said...

Miss Mannah, I agree I am nitpicky about this subject. As a manger I am required to be nitpicky about the things are written in contracts. It of course carries over when I discuss things such as compensation, benefits and other contract terms. I can give you a nice long winded explanation about the words: shall, must and will in contracts. I shall refrain from that as it is not needed, and just stick to a long winded explanation on this subject.

My "nitpick" is using the word salary, when talking about compensation for any Nanny contract (not for your actual weekly compensation or your annual salary, but when discussing contracts).

It has certain legal connotations on both the employee and the employer. Specifically; if the employee falls under the exempt or non-exempt rules. Nannies do not fall under the Exempt categories, it has been constantly tested in our legal court system.

They have certain minimum standards of protection because of it under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Which Exempt employees do not get.

::Breaking this up becuase it is long and to give people less of a headache reading my wall of text.::

CuriousDad said...

I would like to point out a previous write up on here about a pair of Doctors who decided that their nanny was a “Professional” (FLSA usage definition, not dictionary definition) and the weirdness that ensued.

Many bosses we have seen written about and discussed about on here would love that designation of exempt employee on their nanny. Being a salaried employee means you are an exempt employee and can be scheduled to work more than 40 hours a week; without overtime compensation, your hours can change suddenly without notice, and that you are on call if/as needed outside of normal hours. Without extra or built in compensation.

Some employers do not do what is right or legal. Doing so even with someone else’s permission is not right or legal. In many cases it is innocent and does not cause anyone problems. There are a lot of good people out there how are willing to treat others fairly. However there are just enough who are willing to abuse it that it causes problems for many.

If it was not a problem the law would not have been written the way it is. New York would not have just passed a law specifically targeting nannies. It is there to protect those who usually do not know how to legally stand up for themselves.

Encouraging deviation from it allows those who wish to abuse it the thought that they CAN abuse it.

CuriousDad said...

However, this of course really has little to do with the OP’s present problem.

The OP was verbally promised 30-40 hours and is not getting it. She is presently looking for a new job; she does need to look out for her living. Some of the other posters have commented; she should talk to the employers about this and her hours. That is not a half bad idea; the employers may be willing to up her hours just so they do not lose her or up the compensation. Of course that would be the best scenario for her.

I do not have a crystal ball on how her bosses will react to it.
If the bosses do agree to up her time, they may decide that she could do other work then “Nannying”.

How the OP decides to respond to that is entirely up to her, I hope she is as professional as possible and gets what she wants in the end.

Sincerly the ever contractually nitpicky Curious Dad.

Not said...

Nannying is absolutely not a definite 'hourly position'. The law only dictates that you are paid the legal minimum wage and compensated appropriately for any hours of overtime. If a salary is agreed upon and the legal requirements are met within or beyond your salary, then that is just fine.

Facks said...

You have 'exempt or non-exempt status' when you are salaried. There are guidelines to follow to find out whether you are exempt or not, which typically is used for overtime hour purposes. This doesn't mean a nanny can't be salaried.

Facks said...

This is just is just an example, since these are only CA's laws and others may be different, but what you are saying IS not set in stone. I don't want every salaried employee to think they are to be worked to the bone because they aren't owed overtime. In some cases, they are entitled to it, salary or not.

*Disclaimer--look up your own state laws!!! Know your rights!

CuriousDad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CuriousDad said...

If you scroll down the page you hyperlinked too is a section about salary and how to calculte it for non-exempt employees.

You are REQUIRED to break it down into an hourly wage for the purpose of reporting that wage and for calculation of overtime.

My beef with the usage of the word salary, is it is used to indicate an exempt employee more often then not. Those who do not do their due dilegence may assume, wrongly, that since they pay a "salary" that person is an exempt employee. Worse comes when job creep starts happening to that employee without an appropriate increase in comepnsation.

Those who are working as Nannies are never exempt employees. Their pay is calculated on an Hourly basis, even if you decide to pay them a "Salary".

In the following link is someone who was paid a salary. Becuase that person was paid a salary the employers thought they could pay her and treat her as an EXEMPT employee. Guess what the Courts said.

Facks said...

Flack? Really? Grow up, please. And also, please learn to read. You're arguing with me when I'm not even entirely disagreeing with you, just saying are not completely right, and yet still, you are totally missing my point.

To avoid your annoyingly lengthy and erroneous posts, I'll just stop here. Not worth it, and isn't the point of the OP anyway, so move on.

CuriousDad said...

Using Flack instead of Fack is a misread and mistype on my part. My apologies no insult was intended for using the wrong name.

MissMannah said...

CD: This is pretty much what I read from your posts:

"Legalese, Blah Blah Blah Legalese, my eyes are glazing over...where's my coffee?"

Come on! Your beef is with the word "salary"? Then ignore the word! I am not using it with the technical and legal definitions because I couldn't give a crap with the definition is. I was just saying what I do when I take a nanny job, because I don't like to get screwed. And I have gotten screwed exactly the same way OP has been. So maybe this is why I haven't been able to find a nanny job recently? In interviews, the parents are offended by my use of the word "salary"?

CuriousDad said...

Yes, I wrote too much in trying to get my point across. I honestly tried to break it up for better reading. But I keep seeing the word used on here and it is usually in connection to a horrible situation that screws over the Nanny because they are “salaried”.

In what I have seen browsing the web though; probably there are too many nannies fighting over a small selection of employers. I am seeing many former business people who were nannies when they were in college, teachers, daycare workers, and military wives starting to show up on places like around my area. Let alone that the usual college students, immigrants, former au pairs and childcare givers/housekeepers listings have increased.

I wish you the best in looking for a position. You seem well spoken and very much in tune with your charges.

PS when written in word perfect my diatribe took up a page of writing.

MissMannah said...

Was your compliment directed at me or the OP? If the former, thank you. ^_^ Unfortunately, I've given up on my search and took a daycare job that is to start next week. I hate working for daycare because the pay is crap and those places make my head want to explode but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. (Though the woman who interviewed me also said that I am very well-spoken. Hmm, I could get used to this.)

You're right, the ratio of available nannies to families is ridiculous. I recently looked at in my area and there were 11 open jobs and over 600 nannies and babysitters looking for jobs. Nice.

PS: Sorry if I came off offensive in my last post. I can get a wee bit sarcastic, especially on the internet because, odds are, if I'm on the computer, I'm probably job-searching and in a bad mood.