Nanny Red-Faced Over MB Reading FaceBook

opinion dec
Hi. I need help. I had been working for a family for 3 months up until Thursday when I left the job. MB and DB read through my personal email account and found out very personal information about my childhood that in no way pertains to my work. They then switched over to my Facebook account and dug through my entire account with the intent of "finding out what you say about our children and to learn more about you since we read your email."

The MB sat me down on Thursday night to tell me she had done this with the DB because I had forgotten to log out of my accounts on her computer. She has continued to state that she did this for the safety of her children, when there was no reason for her to invade my personal life by reading an email from my mom and then making her choice to read through my second private account. I am 100% unhappy with them and know that what they did was illegal, but now I am without a job and without a paycheck.

What can I do with this having happened? Any legal actions?


same thing happened to me said...

First of all, I am sorry this happened to you. I have learned in recent years hard lessons regarding discretion on the internet, and would never access an email from my employer's house or my place of business that I did not want them to read, nor would I log into a facebook account. In the past, I did this all the time and the same thing happened to me. Here's some advice: hard-drives remember EVERYTHING. Even if you had logged out, I don't know that they would not have been able to access your accounts. Best just to not visit those sites at work.

I really doubt you have any legal recourse since it was their computer and their home. But a consultation with an attorney is free: look one up and meet with them. See if they can help you.

These people are assholes, imho.

MamaLaywer said...

Why exactly do you think what they did is illegal? Everything in the house belongs to them. Unless they broke into your house to use your computer, it seems legal.

You screwed up. It's that simple. Cut your losses, learn from your mistake, and move on.

MissMannah said...

Well, why were you dumb enough not to log out of your accounts? They didn't do anything illegal. Underhanded and sneaky, yes. But not illegal. What could you sue them for--reading accessible information?

NotCool said...

So, did you quit, or did they let you go?
Honestly, there is not a whole lot you can probably do legally, as you logged into your accounts on thier computer. They have every right to look at anything they want on thier computer, though it is totally wrong for them to look at your personal email without your permission.

AMom said...

What they did might be immoral, but it is in no way, shape or form illegal! What makes you think what they did is illegal? you used their computer, their personal property to log on to a website and read your email. you left your log in info there and they read it. Wrong, yes, illegal, no way!

So, did you quit or did they fire you?

Truth Seeker said...

While what they did was despicable, I do not think you have a legal foot to stand on since it was their computer, in their home and they did not break into your home and use your computer. I wish you could sue them...the creeps!

I would learn a valuable lesson NOT use your bosses computer to access e-mail, Facebook, etc...just wait until you get home.

Be thankful you were fired from this position. Never in a million years would I want to work for a family who would do something this shady, then try to justify it by saying they were doing it for their children. You are better of w/out these shady people in your me on this OP.

CookieNanny said...

I think OP's question about the legality of the situation refers to her missing paycheck. Was there a contract? Are they refusing to pay you, or did you just leave without collecting it? As others have stated, while snooping is totally inappropriate, in the context, its legal. Sorry this happened to you, but get your money and hold on to this crappy life lesson!

Keep it private said...

I nanny through a good agency and the first thing they asked me to do after they did my background check was to ask me if my Facebook was rated G and ok for a potential parent to see ( just in case) . I didn't have a Facebook or myspace so I said it's not an issue, then they asked me to have my husband make his FB private (just in case) it annoyed me, but he did and three years later I still have the same job. Sign of the times.

another nanny said...

I think nannies sometimes gets lulled into a false sense of comfort, because they work in a home. But it's not YOUR home, it's your workplace. In most office environments, they will tell you that anything you do on the network can be monitored. I think we should have that same mindset as nannies. I would recommend getting a smartphone (if you don't already have) if you really need to check your accounts while at work.
I still feel what they did was wrong, but not illegal.

NannyPoppins said...

This is exactly why I would never sign into my employers computers on my free time. I use my smartphone to check my emails. But I am not belittling you OP, we all make mistakes! It's wrong that they looked through your emails and Facebook. But I am not sure what you can do legally. I have a question though, why were you let go? Was it because of something you said on your FB or because of your past? Why did they withhold your pay?

Well That Sucks said...

So if my mail accidently lands in my neighbors mailbox, does that make it ok for them to open and read it just because it's in THEIR mailbox??
Email (IMO) is just like mail from the post office. PRIVATE.
There will probably be more laws about it soon enough.
It's a good thing you don't work for this family anymore. Dispicable morals they have!!

VANanny said...

I am sorry this happened to you but:
A) Be glad you got away from this family.
B) In this day and age why in the world would you first get on and then forget to log off your private accounts on THEIR computer. Anytime you are working with children you should be aware of keeping anything less than "G" rated on any public site.
I worked for a family as a live in and from some questions the mom asked me I concluded she was reading my journal that was IN my room UNDER my underclothes. How she found meant she snooped. (Not that I said anything bad about the family)
Take this as a blessing in disguise and a lesson that people can be snoops and to remember to keep a tighter control on your online accounts.
Good luck!

Nanny E said...

Okay, just because you leave your email open on someone else's computer doesn't mean they should be able to read it! That's like saying you should be able to read your roommate's mail, just because you live in the same house. I cannot believe that in this day and age that there aren't stricter laws on this type of thing. I had a somewhat similar experience with a former housemate, who called the school I was attending to see where I was and what classes I was taking. And they gave him the information! I still can't believe that happened.

Vanessa said...

What they did was horribly, disgustingly wrong. But at the same time, you could have done it anywhere else too and exposed your privacy to others.

@WellThatSucks: If your mail appeared in your neighbors maibox unopnened, sure. But if you leave open mail on their table, they will read it. Same with e-mail. If someone breaks into your account and reads your e-mails, it's one thing, but if you leave it open for the world to see, don't expect them not to. They shouldn't but they will.

Next time, log out.

Phoenix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AussieNanny said...

OP I really feel for you. Yes, you should have logged out, but you can't change that now.
IMO the bigger issue here is the employers! I am often on the household laptop while Lil Miss is asleep, open my emails, chat to family on FB etc (once everything else is done) and I trust that my employers would never go into my accounts and read them etc. If I left my journal out, is it ok for them to read that too, just because it is in their home?

They trust that I would not read their private information and by working for them, I expect the same level of respect from them!

I'm glad you no longer work for them, everyone deserves privacy.. In a work place or not!

Vili said...

While it may not be illegal, what they did was rock-bottom nasty. you may have forgotten to log out but did you also forget to get out of certain e-mail? I think not. They started opening e-mail messages without your consent, that IS exactly like opening my employers' mail when it comes during my work hours since, after all, I live here too. They didn't only read one message that she may accidentally have left open, they went through her whole account. THAT should be illegal.
PS: To everyone who asked.... OP wasn't fired or let go, she "left the job" because of what they did. You all should read the post carefully before commenting :)
Nanny V.