Tuesday

MB Taking Unfair Advantage of Her Nanny

opinion 1
I need help. My 19 year old sister has been a live-in nanny for two and a half months. This is her first live-in nanny job, though she has had babysitting jobs in the past. She does not have a drivers license and she is nannying in a gated community that is miles from the nearest bus line. The community has no parks and the people there don't socialize with their neighbors. The Boss Mom is a single mother whose parents pay half of the nanny salary. When my sister took the job she was told that she would be paid $100 a week plus room and board and all food would be purchased for her.

After she moved in, things immediately got somewhat abusive. The Boss Mom started complaining about how much food she was eating. The house does not have a landline and my sister is required to pay for her own cell phone. My sister has not been given the code to the gate so she can not walk out of the community without the car clicker to open the car gate. She has not been registered as a community member and so she can not call the gate to let me in when I come pick her up. Boss Mom has OCD (she told my sister she was diagnosed) and so my sister is under constant scrutiny as far as levels of cleanliness. Boss Mom goes into my sister's room and cleans it, and leaves hand-me-down clothes in her closet as "gifts". She has taken all of my sister's clothes and washed them while my sister wasn't there. Also, the baby (a two year old) is not allowed to do messy things. When my sister politely asked that she not touch her personal things without asking first, Boss Mom replied, "How dare you tell me not to clean my house when you pay no rent to live here." Boss Mom is often verbally abusive and has called my sister fat (she is not even overweight, however Boss Mom is). Boss Mom also constantly speaks poorly of her last nanny.

Boss Mom began a relationship with someone who stayed with her for a few weeks. This man took my sister's gate clicker so she is no longer able to get in or out of the community on her own at all. Last weekend my sister left to spend time with friends and Boss Mom would not give her the clicker, so my sister ended up having nowhere to go at the end of the night and had to sleep on a friend's floor. The baby is often left with my sister so that Boss Mom can go out shopping after work and she is not paid overtime. My sister was invited to the family Christmas with Boss Mom and her parents and was chastised for not being the primary caregiver on that day, even though she was supposed to have it off.

When my sister approached Boss Mom about paying taxes, she said "You are not working for a business so I'm not worrying about that."

Obviously at this juncture my sister is desperate to quit. There was never any written contract and it's almost certain that Boss Mom is not going to give a reference for my sister if she quits. I need any advice I can get. Is there any legal action my sister can take or does she just have to cut her losses and move on?

13 comments:

alex said...

Your sister needs to leave this position asap. It is not healthy and it really is probably only going to get worse. She doesn't even have access to where she is supposed to be living and the mom is allowing new men to stay in her house. Not safe for your sister or the children. Your sister needs to collect all her things and have them ready to go. Or move them out over a few days with help from friends. And then she needs to leave, I don't think she can give notice in this instance.

RBTC said...

this situation is unacceptable and untenable - she needs to get out right away

it sounds dangerous - help her get out and let us know what happens

Beth said...

Agree with the others. This situation sounds very dangerous to the point of being life threatening. Your sister needs to get out right away in ONE day get a bunch of friends and move. Have a police escort if needed.

I wouldn't worry about references or anything like that right now.

She will find another job maybe in daycare or as a nanny. If she chooses to nanny again especially as a live in make sure she insists on getting references from the family.

Phoenix said...

I think you need to go get your sister now. I wouldn't stand for anyone treating any member of my family like this. Just because someone has OCD doesn't give them the right to invade privacy. And be verbally abusive to her. Your sister doesn't seem to even be paid enough. She is almost a slave. Tell her to leave.

redridinghood said...

One of my first nanny positions was with one of the members of a moderately famous 80's band; the children were verbally and physically abusive, my hours were punishingly long and I was expected to put up with porn and evidence of drug use being left around the house. I lasted a fortnight before I packed my things one weekend while my employers were away, and stayed with my brother until I found a new job - because I hate to think how bad things would have gotten if I'd stayed. Get your sister out of there NOW!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Your poor sis is literally in jail. :(

Can she move in with you? I hope she has somewhere she can go because she needs to leave this crazy woman ASAP. She is being taken advantage of BIG time and also being abused as well.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

This is a no-brainer. Your sister needs to get out ASAP. No one should be stuck anywhere against their will like that. This situation is not going to get better. Personally I'd rather be poor than work a job like that. Besides, she isn't making any money anyway.

melissa said...

Anyone with real, diagnosed OCD knows that it doesn't extend to others. I have OCD, but it doesn't mean that everyone else around me has to have it too. The mb is just being a jerk. Agree with everyone else. I was in a bad live-in situation once too, and I got out as quickly as I could. Your sister is being severely taken advantage of, and mistreated. Seriously, references should be the last thing on her mind. Potential new families will understand her situation when she explains it. She can explain that it wasn't a good fit, and when they ask why, in as kind a way as possible, have her tell them what happened. Good luck to you and your sister!

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

Your sister needs to cut her losses and leave, references be damned.

Angela Ochoa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Village said...

Of course she needs to get of there, even if it means calling the police to leave with her belongings.

chopperclaus said...

she can file unemployment and even if she doesn't ultimately collect it (and she very well may be able to given the circumstances) her boss would be up to her eyeballs in trouble for not paying taxes and that alone would be priceless.

LuvWhatIDo_ (formerly Wow) said...

Servitude is illegal in the US. She's one step away from being held hostage. Cut losses and leave - NOW!