Grateful Nanny Indeed... but Still in Need

I posted on here last month about my current work situation but could really use some further help. My situation: I have been a nanny for 3yrs. I have been with my current family for almost a year. We will be sitting down tonight or tomorrow to discuss signing another year contract and I need some help ASAP. I take care of 1 toddler in Cleveland, she is relatively good and easy to take care of. I also have cleaning duties around the house, there is a list of (as they call them) "reminders": Dishwasher, laundry (Childs and Parents), Dust, Swiffer, Water Plants, Vacuum, Bathroom (just the childs, the one I use), Childs bedding. Bedding and Laundry are almost daily, 4x/wk. I work over 50hrs/wk, make $10/hr and do not get overtime. I agreed to this rate because when they hired me, I was not CPR/First Aid certified and had no experience with infants/toddlers (only schoolage).

The thing is, my employers are generous in other areas. They sincerely welcomed me into their family, got me a great deal for Christmas last year, for my birthday ($200 gift card), flown me to Europe twice to work, (still $10/hr), paid for a weekend in Milan (train, spending money), and flew my boyfriend as well, once. Is it completely selfish of me to ask for overtime? What about a raise? What is a reasonable rate to discuss that includes the housekeeping? I am also on the books, so my take home is less than desired and when I move out of my current apartment in 2 months, with NO roommate, I'm afraid I won't be able to support myself. One more thing- when they hired me, I had a car but it broke down a couple months later. It was in the contract that I was to have a car but they worked with me, told me it was alright and started purchasing a monthly bus pass for me instead. I don't have good credit and if I buy a car, I'm not sure it will live up to the safety features they require for their daughter to be inside it. I am just not able to put down that kind of money. However, the want their daughter "to be out more." This was said after we go on playdates, to the park, picnic's, science center, play with the sprinkler, all kinds of things, every week. Is it up to me to provide safe, reliable transportation or is it up to them? Please help... I got so many good comments and insight on here last time I posted on this situation. Thank you. - MissCali
My apologies OP, I wasn't aware this was time sensitive. I hope any advice you receive is still helpful.


bostonnanny said...

First off, it's illegal not to pay overtime after 40hours a week. You can print out the paperwork from the IRS and give them a call to confirm. They owe you overtime for a year now.

Second, household chores should be directly related to the daily care of a child unless they want to pay more.

Third, transportation of their child should be their responsibility but if they hired you with the expectation that you would drive your car then it might be tricky.

Yearly raises are common but not the rule

Dr. Juris said...

I think you need to stop feeling grateful to them and start realizing that they are taking advantage of you. I don't care if they've given you a $200 gift card. They owe you FAR MORE for everything else you've been doing (at least $200 per paycheck, in my opinion).

gypsy said...

There is no limitation on the time you have to be paid your backpay. You're legally entitled to $15/hour, for hours over 40 during a seven day work week. That's not an "option" that it your legal right. They owe you thousands. Not negotiable.

Yes, you need a raise. Why are you cleaning without being properly paid? The child care is worth at least $10 an hour, so you're not earning anything to clean. AND you're being double ripped off because not only are you not being paid to clean, you're not being paid the overtime. The cleaning, WITHOUT fees for child care should be $20 an hour. So when you're also doing child care: $30 an hour & OT where you're cleaning & doing child care: $45/hour!

Request your backpay. Start charging $10/hr/straight time/up to 40/hrs/week. $20/hr/cleaning. $30/hr/for child care hours over 40hrs, during a 7 day work week. $45/hr/childcare & cleaning/hours over 40 during a 7 day work week. Id start getting paid properly before asking for a raise. I don't feel you need a "raise." I feel getting proper & legal compensation will give you the money you need to survive comfortably.

I feel the $200 gift card is an attempt to make you feel guilty so you keep cleaning for free & don't say anything about them stealing your overtime pay. And by the sound of it, its working. You don't need your bf flown to visit, you need just compensation. The car is up to you. When you get your backpay & proper pay, you'll be able to afford one.

Please know were all behind ya 100%. They've been taking advantage of you in a huge way & its time to be over! Please update us! GL

alex said...

I definitely think you need 1. a raise & 2. overtime. You are doing a lot of cleaning for a nanny and that deserves more. Plus, the flying you to Europe was work related, it was nice they flew your boyfriend over and the weekend in Milan but still you are being paid $10 an hour and no overtime. So I would definitely ask for a raise and overtime.

gypsy said...

OP, sorry for the confusion. I said you need a raise. Then I said you did not. I meant you need your just compensation which is like a raise, but not technically. I was so unclear! My apologies.

Village said...

Dr. Juris has it right. The OP needs to stop feeling grateful to a family that is taking advantage of her.

OP, tell them you are not being paid a living wage. You can't afford a car, and you can't handle an apartment alone.

You need a raise. Screw this bus pass crap. You need a car. And if they want the kid going places, they need to provide a car, with insurance and a gas card provided.

A living wage is $15 an hour minimum. That should be your goal. Start looking for another job while you negotiate. Your bottom line should be $12 an hour with a car provided. It's going to be culture shock to your PBs who are used to you rolling over when they want to take advantage of you. Again, without another job offer, you don't have much leverage. Get out there and interview.

Nobody is a better advocate for you than you are for yourself, so stand up for yourself. People treat you the way you demand to be treated. And it's always easier to demand with job offers in your pocket.

PS About your contract. If it's not enforced, what's the point?

MissCali said...

Thanks for all the comments, they've been very helpful. I do need to stand up for myself. I am way too nice and passive most of the time and just end up feeling resentful.
I've done my homework, called US Dept of Labor: Wage and Hour Division: Ohio. Apparently, as a Nanny here, my employers are not required to pay me OT. Even though I'm a professional Nanny working over 50hours/wk, plan activities, do housekeeping, food prep, am a live-OUT and am paid on the books and have taxes taken out. If I worked at a daycare center though, and not in a private home, I would get OT. Ridiculous. Is it still ok to ask them for OT though even though they are by law, not required to pay it??

I will let you guys know what the outcome is after I sit down with my employers and speak with them.

I am also in the process of looking for a new job. Still. I've been on for a while and am now on Any other suggestions on sites that are good to put up a profile?

Nashville Nanny said...

I'm not sure that OHIO gave you accurate information. You are an hourly employee, therefore entitled to OT. I would scratch a little deeper OP, don't give in so easily.

Nanny Linda said...

Yes, I would do some investigating and even a second opinion. As far as I know, overtime pay is enforced in ALL states. Do a little more digging.

Because you are so nice and passive, your bosses are taking full advantage. They are getting a 2-for-1 deal from you...nanny/housecleaner.

You should be making at least $15/Hr for all you do. Plus time and a half for the extra 10 hrs you work.

I can't believe they are paying you on the books and the IRS has not caught them illegally not giving you overtime pay.

Strange to me.

Maybe they are not even paying taxes at all...............

Handynanny said...

OP, you are waaaaayyyy underpaid.

As a nanny, you should not have any requirements/chores related to the parents. Kid laundry, sure. Dishes, fine. But household cleaning/maintenance? No way. They need to hire a house cleaner for that, and house cleaners charge at least $20 an hour.... So you are really being tAken advantage of here

You should get a raise for the child care.

You should cut out the extra cleaning OR add an additional fee ON TOP of your nanny wage. I'd recommend a weekly set fee.

Also, you should be paid time and a half for anything over 40, although many families do try to avoid paying OT

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

OP, I think you need to check with the FEDERAL government, and with some nanny tax payroll companies. I'd start with the info you can download at - the owner is a passionate advocate for nannies and other household employees, and you could get some great info by visiting their site or by calling them and explaining your situation.

You can try to explain to your employers that they need to follow standard legal procedures when it comes to your wages, but frankly I think you have reached the end of the road there. The car issue is not going to be willingly resolved by the parents. They will not be willing to add $10 per hour to your paycheck ($20/hour and $30/hour for OT) to pay you for being their housekeeper.

Do NOT base your car purchase on an employer's demands. Buy the car YOU can afford. If an employer finds that insufficient, they can either not hire you or they can PROVIDE you a nanny care to use during work hours, and pay for gas and insurance, and all the normal car expenses.

Best of luck to you - please start job hunting now!

Best said...

Tough stuff hun, if I was you I'd start to look for a new job at a wage that will pay your rent and help you get together a down payment for a car. Times are tough, I'd ask for a raise and forget about the overtime. You can ask them to tax 40 hours a week and pay cash for your time over at the end of each week. It's great to have cash at the end of the week, and you should be able to manage your day so you have some serious time to rest everyday. I did everything a STAHM would do if her husband worked 60 hours a week and took I home $20 an hour (taxed in Cali.) for 40 hours and generally worked 50 hrs a week. It worked out well,the extra hours has to be cash or you can get in trouble with the tax man. These days you may have to do lots of housework and cooking to make more money, but if you don't mind it's worth it. If you really hate the domestic side you might want to try to land a child care job at a center or preschool things should be more reliable that way. It's fine to move between both fields (nanny & preschool teacher) and can help avoid burnout. You should figure out your worth and stick by it, learn to use your voice, and speak up for yourself. Best wishes!

Nanny321 said...

Here is why I requested overtime from my employers. THEY WERE ALWAYS LATE LETTING ME OFF!!! They'd say ok see you at 6pm!!! ...3hrs later they'd stumble in the door after they weren't answering my calls!! It wasn't a huge deal, the easiest part of the night is bedtime/sitting on the couch after kids go to bed. But it got to be a problem when I was late to my scheduled events, especially my night class!! I was in your position, they treated me really well in other ways but were always late! I did get paid hourly, but when I brought up overtime they were hesitant. It has helped me get off on time though!!

As for the car.. I had my own car as well, then it broke down and they lent me theirs to use. After a couple months they claimed it was too much of a liability with increased insurance rates and extra maintenance. (it had terrible mpg.) So I purchased another used vehicle. But they still pay gas/mileage reimburse. Did your employers do that for your vehicle?

The point is, the worst you could do here is try. If they are treating you as well as you indicate, then they like you and want to keep you. If they are good employers like you indicate, then they are reasonable, logical, and can see you are not making enough to live on at $10/hr! Not to mention you need an annual raise! Guess what... NOW you have infant/toddler experience, now you are definitely worth way more than $10/hr for all you do! You are worn too thin for too little compensation!

Good luck! Keep us posted!

Aries said...

If you are a Nanny and housekeeper all wrapped in one then you are DEFINITLY underpaid. You should be making atleast $15 with the duties they expect of you. Do you have your own car? If yes, do you do errands for the family? If so then I hope you're being compesated.

What do you mean by ''they got me a great deal for Christmas last year'' ?? If you're talking about Bonuses, Presants, Timeoff then thats all standard and expected anyway. They are also soppose to fly you in if you're taking a plane to go work (I believe).

They are legally obligated to provide overtime. They might of been in your eyes, generous, but they are taking advantage by not paying you overtime. And I don't think they don't realize. They probably assume you haven't pushed the issue and why pay you if they can get away with not paying you?

Noone works for free. Demand overtime and appreciate perks but don't for one minute think you can work extra for free without being paid just because they give you a nice perk here an there. Thats expected.

anon mom said...

re: "If you're talking about Bonuses, Presants, Timeoff then thats all standard and expected"

Wow, really? Somehow that just seems so, well, greedy.

How mad do you get if you don't get that expected bonus?

a mom said...

I agree that you are way underpaid. I know nannies here like the idea of 'overtime' pay but I think you would be better off asking for a guaranteed salary for a set number of hours a week (which usually ends up more than hourly plus time and half over 40 hours)....and then an hourly rate for any hours above your agreed upon rate. Personally, I think housekeeping should be paid at $20 an hour...and you should get at least $12 an hour for for 50 hours a week with housekeeping I'd expect as an employer to pay $650 a week net and pay taxes on top of that, plus bday and christmas bonuses....and of course expenses if the nanny travels with us. As far as pay for travel, you should be paid at least your normal salary plus $50-100 a day extra for not being able to go home at night.

NannyNYC said...

With your experience now you can find a better job that suits your wants and needs. A professional nanny does not perform house cleaning, so be specific about that on your next position. Move on and good luck.

Nessa said...

It sounds like the OP actually likes the job and family but just feels she needs more pay (and I agree). And since she is looking for another job and hasn't found one yet, I would caution her not to "throw her toys out of the pram" in this meeting with the parents.

Whether or not the pay and overtime was "fair" in the past is irrelevant. You agreed to it and so did they. I don't think you can ask for back pay and if you do, understand that the parents will probably want to let you go. You agreed to it already. Going forward you can request whatever you like, but again if you go in guns a blazin', the outcome might be unemployment sooner rather than later.

They might be nice people who are oblivious (and spoiled) or they might be jerks who know they are getting a good deal, but if you immediately go in and demand an extra 150-200/week, I wouldn't blame them for saying no. Most people just don't have THAT much wiggle room in their budget for an immediate change. HOWEVER, I do think you probably deserve that salary, so why not approach them about increasing your salary by 100/week now and another 150-200 in the next 3-4 months (amount depending on how much housework they want you to do).

I personally always prefer the salary structre vs. hourly and then pay overtime when needed. That way you'll have your "steady" pay regardless if you go home early one night and a little bonus for those weeks you need to work more. Good luck!

Nanny123 said...

Hello, I have been in your EXACT situation. Families do this, knowingly to make you feel guilty for standing up for yourself. They may be *acting* like they care about you, by flying you to Europe and giving you a $200 gift card, but that is not the case.
You are entitled to overtime NO MATTER WHAT STATE YOU LIVE IN, as long as you are a live out nanny.
Here is a link
It is on the Federal level, overtime, not by state. Since your job is on the books, your bosses are entitled to pay you for back pay, but remember that you do not get overtime if you didn't work the full overtime hours that week (if yo got a paid vacation, or a paid holiday) over a year, that is probably close to 1,000$ (which you could use towards your new apt!)
If they refuse to pay you for overtime, you can take them to court and since you will obviously would win, youd win 3x the amount that is due, plus all the costs to go to court. I was considering doing this when I found out that my bosses were ripping me off, and pretending that they didn't know it was the law.
If they really value you, they will pay you what you deserve. In my opinion you should be making 18 an hour, which would come to 15 net pay (take home) 600$ a week is a great wage, especially if you are moving into your own place.
I hope you are able to stand up to them and request that you have a raise, (if you think it will not fly, start looking for another position, ask them for a letter of recommendation for (xyz, you are applying for the National Nanny agency or something like that, in case they become bitter after you except a job else where)
Good luck!

nycmom said...

As others have said, you are covered under the FLSA, not state law. Though if state law mandates higher pay, that is the default.

Perhaps the state is misinterpreting your request because you talk about a lot of housekeeping and hkers CAN be independent contractors. Nannies cannot.

It is standard to get a raise at one year. Are you paid on the books? If so and you've kept good records, you are in a strong position. Do you want to fight for back wages or do you want to keep this job and be paid fairly? Two very different approaches to the family.

I have no idea what going wages are in Cleveland. But $10/hr for childcare and moderate housekeeping seems low to me. Determine what your goals are and have a discussion with those in mind. GL.

Bethany said...

Have you talked to them yet?

How did it go?

If you haven't I'd gather my information 4nanny taxes, Breedlove & IRS sites all have clear information on how a nanny is to be paid.

As nycmom said overtime pay is not a nice option it is federal law.

I would ask for a raise of $12-$15/hr. No less than $12/hr just for caring for the little girl.

A little more if the want you to wash her laundry and clean her bathroom.

Add an additional price for the extra household chores. They are technically not nanny duties, but if you don't mind the work yu should at least be compensated for it.

It is their responsibility to provide transport for their little girl. Not your responsibility.

Also, if they have you use your car they should be compensating you for mileage.

I hope things go well for you. Don't feel badly for asking for what you deserve.

gypsy said...

I hate hearing about nannies being taken advantage of like this. I remember seeing a particular ad for a nanny. The parent said "light errands such as grocery shopping & making dinner."

That's not a nannys job. Some desperate out of work person is going to accept that job & then grow resentful. They're going to have a revolving door of unhappy nannies. They were offering $10 an hour, in CA.

If its so light, do it yourself. When I've hired nannys to care for our son, I'm very clear that I don't want them worrying about dishes or cleaning. I want them enjoying time with our child & when they get a few mminutes to relax to do so. Kids keep nannies busy ebough. Another ad said they want a nanny who will clean when the child is resting. Ugh! I just can't relate to cheap, stingy, lazy people.