Nanny Voices Concern Over Hidden Camera Recording Sound

I am currently a full-time nanny, I have over 10 years of experience but in my time I have only worked for 3 families’ full time and 3 temp positions. My jobs always end because of the kids are of school age. I am a very professional nanny and all of my families can vouch for that. Recently I started a new position, during the interview they asked me what were my current rates. Because of my experience my rates are between 15 to 18 and I normally only take 15 if it’s a temp position. During the interview I told the new family that the lowest I can go is 15.00. They agreed to do no less than 15. Mind in this position, I work 60hrs a week.

My first day starting, the family said to me that they decided on paying me 10.00 an hour, something I have never made! I know I should of spoke on it at the time they stated it but for some reason I decided against it. My next issue is that they have installed a nanny cam without telling me. This is the second one. The first one I found inside of the kitchen while putting dishes away on top of the microwave and this time it's sitting on the arm of the sofa. I guess they figure no need in telling me this time because it's in plain sight unlike the first one, which was hidden. I do not have an issue with the camera because they don’t bother me and because I do my job. I just feel like I should’ve been told about the camera. I understand that parents don’t bring them up because they feel as though the nanny won’t be herself and always try to be perfect but NOT ME! Lol

I do my job how I am supposed to camera or no camera… but my issue with this family and their camera is that it records my voice and I do not like that. I do not watch television like that at home or at work although I was given permission to when he is sleep. I am also uncomfortable with the camera because it’s a very small 1 bedroom apartment and I already feel cramped at times and the fact that the camera is not only recording me and the kid but it is recording everything I say and do! It’s annoying more than anything. My question is, should I speak on the camera and the fact that it records my voice and should I bring up the pay? - Nanny


Nashville Nanny said...

First of all, when they said they were going to be paying you well under what you were asking, you should have left. If you stayed, and you are enabling them to pay you less than what you are worth, then shame on you.

As for the nanny cam, it is ILLEGAL to record sound and image without permission. They can have a nanny cam that only records image and not inform you, but not sound.

So you have two options, speak up about the camera and the pay, but be prepared for the backlash. Or find a new job. I would be looking for a new job. Sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen. Good luck.

on-the-road-again-gypsy said...

Start messing with the cameras. Find or bring a few radios and play music so they can't record u. Cover them all each day, as needed. Make them freak when they lose control. If they ask u to leave them alone, Id agree & continue to foil their efforts. All of this assumes you can financially stand to lose the job or that you've lined a new one up.

And I think them "deciding" your rate will be reduced by 1/3 was a huge red flag. They simply do not respect you.

NannyNina said...


WestchesterNanny said...

Perhaps you could ask MB why she installed the cameras in the first place. You can tell her that you're open to constructive criticism and that if she has any concerns she should feel comfortable approaching you as you would to her. I would politely inform her that although you have no problem with cameras, you would have preferred to have been given a warning. You could also make her aware that it is illegal to record sound without your permission...but then you might feel pressured into giving your permission :/ You should definitely speak up about the pay. I would consider it offensive if someone tried to do that to me. You specifically stated you could not work for less than $15/hr, your MB agreed....and now she comes out of left field that they "decided" on paying you $10. That's just rude.

run said...

That's just it- dont! Just look for another job and as soon as you find one, leave. Honestly do the math if you can find a part time job for $15/hr and you work 20hrs a week for one family that would be $300 vs $600 for 60. You could use the other time to find a second part time job or a different full time job. Personally I would find a job, pick up the cameras put them in a bag and hand it to them with a letter of termination of employment bc they are paying you the non-agreed amount. Thus you are not bound nor interested to stay.

MissMannah said...

I'm not sure how all the states work, but I'm fairly sure Nashville is right when she said it is illegal to record sound. I think you should look up those laws and if you find out it's true, don't hesitate to bring it up to the parents.

However, if I was in your position, I would just find a new job. Lowering the pay without any discussion should be a deal-breaker.

Moniker said...

Someone as experienced as you should have not gone in without a contract stating hours, wage, and so on.

When they said they would pay you 10.00 instead of 15.00, you should have turned around and left.

Bethany said...

I believe it is illegal in every state to record someone's voice without thwir consent.

They also lowered the agreed upon wages.

Start looking for a new job and as soon as you are hired and the contract is signed quit.

If you are lucky enough to be in a position where you don't need this job I would quit now.

In either case I wouldn't be above pressing charges.

OperatorPleaseConnectMeToMrs.Olsen said...

I know in CA you can record someones voice if ONE of the parties know. Meaning, I can record my own phone calls legally.

curious said...

OP, I would grab the tape out of that camera and hide it. Then ask for the $15 that was promised to me. If I didn't get it I would take that tape down to the police and press charges.

YOU have all the power right now. Don't lay down and take their crap anymore!!

workingmom said...

What Moniker said.

Addressing the pay issue now is too late - nothing will change. You need to get out and seek another job where they don't jerk you around (and where you don't allow them to jerk you around!) on the terms.

ericsmom said...

Sorry, but if you are a professional, you should have left the same day. Not nice for them to change the price on you.
What jerks!!

Village said...

You should have left at $10. They obviously have no respect for you, as evidenced by the nanny cam.

nycmom said...

Recording audio without two party consent is illegal in: CA, CT, FL, IL (debatable), MA, MA, MI, MT, NV, NH, PA, WA .

However, this applies only to hidden cameras. If a camera is in open view, then it is presumably disclosed.

Regardless, they screwed you on the money in a very underhanded way. Leave this job as soon as you can.

thats.just.not.accurate said...

In CA only one party needs to know audio is being recorded in a phone call, fyi.

Tessa said...

In my experience, people who use nannycams are very suspicious and paranoid. This shows that they will never trust you or respect you.

Definitely take the tape to the police. If nothing else, this might scare them into stopping using cams on the next nanny.

The pay thing is just ridiculous. That pretty much means they are jerks.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Wow...your post just blew me away.

If you stated you make $15/Hr and no less, than once you started working for them, they stated they were only going to pay you 2/3 of that, you should have walked off the job then and there. That is some serious nickel and diming they are doing. They obviously have zero respect for you and that is a huge deal-breaker. Plus, since you are working over 40+hrs a week, they are obligated to pay you the time and a 1/2 for the extra 20 hours, etc. I wouldn't even show up tomorrow. Or at least wait until you get your next paycheck and leave.

Regarding the hidden cameras, they should have offered full disclosure from the get go. By not doing so, they have eroded all trust and respect and there is no way you can work for a family who would deceive you in such a way.

This whole situation sounds like a nightmare and I would leave after I get my last paycheck.

Oh yeah..and for fun...I would flash the cameras, then see if they can look you in the eye ever again.


Aries said...

Wow they said they wouldn't do no less then $15 but then said $10 on your starting day, and you just stood there? You should of said something right then an there, they have no problem lying and manipulating, they also have no trust hence the cameras, and MB probably sits on her free time to go over the video recordings.

You should really say something to them, have a sit down, warn them ahead of time that you would like to talk and make sure you're prepared because they will try to backup what they're saying, and if both parents are there they will back each other up and try to guilt you.

But please say something, it's getting really ridiculous how nannies are getting treated nowadays by alot of parents who are getting away with it.

on-the-road-again-gypsy said...

You can and should sue them for all of the overtime you didn't get. There is no time limit on filing for back pay. There are lawyers who specialize in labor laws, who can help you. You're legally entitled regardless of if you agreed or not. When you sue you can get 3x the amount they owe you! Be sure to let them know that. Because it might save you from having to go to court.

There are three serious issues here: you're not being paid what they initially agreed to pay you,(but unfortunately you agreed to the low pay, so you can't request back pay @ $15 an hour. But you can & should ask for an immediate raise.) they are illegally taping you & they owe you $5(hr)x20(hrs)=$100/week for all time worked.

Id write them a letter & hand it to them and mail an identical one certified with a return receipt. Also, sit down & go over the issues. The letter could be in the format of, "to confirm what I've just verbally discussed with you...."

I think its so important that you address all three of these issues. I don't see how you could continue to work in such conditions, withought major resentment boiling inside of you.

The next time someone changes your rate on you, be stronger. Say something like," As we discussed, $15 an hour is the absolute lowest I will work for. Therefore, I do not see this working out. It was nice meeting you & the family. Good luck." Grab your handbag, smile, wave & head for the door. Do NOT start discussing anything else. Just leave. Immediately.

Lyn said...

"We've decided to pay you $10 an hour."
"Oh, okay. I've decided not to work for you." And done.

Lyn said...

Also, why did you not have a contract written up before beginning to work for a new family?!
RUN! These aren't "red flags" these instances are what come after red flags!

Alex said...

Gosh, I would quit. Actually I would have totally quit when they said $10 is what they decided on when you had told them $15 was minimum. As for the sound, that is illegal and they should know that. I cannot believe they just have it on the side of the sofa, that is so weird, haha. I mean, I am all for nanny cams if it makes the parents feel better because if you are a good nanny you will act the same with as without, but they cannot record sound. And 60 hrs in a one bedroom apartment? Yikes!

Good luck OP. I would definitely have a sit down with the parents.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

Next time a family tries to pull a bait and switch on you with your LIVELIHOOD, say this, "No, I will not work for $x/hour. My rate is $15/hour, that is the rate you agreed on with me when we interviewed. If you cannot afford $15/hour, then you have wasted my time. Best of luck finding a new nanny."

WRT the nanny cam, all you have to do is check your state laws (call the state Attorney General and ask any questions you have) then tell your (soon-to-be-former) employers that, according to the AG these are the laws about using a nanny cam.

Leave now, or as soon as you find employers who are better than these people!

Jessica said...

RUN dont walk away from this family! Nannies as experienced as you will ALWAYS find a new and better position and a family that truly values you. I know some Nannies hate agencies but I believe they have the best paying salaries and pre screened families who know what a nanny is, does, and how to compensate one properly.

nycmom said...


California is a two party state for recording phone calls. If you have a reference otherwise, I am glad to be wrong.

Repost for Anonymous said:

"In the state of CA you cannot record anyone unless this person has been told and it must be on tape that you told them they are being recorded. It is a felony in CA, I know this for a fact because someone I know recorded probation officer screaming at her and she took the recording to court and she was arrested and charged. YOu need ot contact the state DA office and find out if nanny cams and voice recordings are legal and if they can record your voice. I would have walked the day she said they were paying me less than agreed upon. Where is this baby sleepingin a 1 bedroom apt? With the parents? I would check into that 2 because in some states you can onl have 2 people per bedroom."

:) said...

Ya I know nycmom. I looked it up after I posted. The law has changed apparently. I was just too lazy to correct myself. Ha

gypsy said...

OP, what has happened since you submitted this? Have you hatched a plan to get the backpay they owe you? Have you confiscated tapes as evidence for court? Are you frozen in fear with no real idea what step to next take?

Were behind you 100%!!

you need a moniker! said...

re-post for Anonymous...

California Wiretapping Law

California's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law. California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. See Cal. Penal Code § 632. The statute applies to "confidential communications" -- i.e., conversations in which one of the parties has an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation. See Flanagan v. Flanagan, 41 P.3d 575, 576-77, 578-82 (Cal. 2002). A California appellate court has ruled that this statute applies to the use of hidden video cameras to record conversations as well. See California v. Gibbons, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1204 (Cal Ct. App. 1989).

If you are recording someone without their knowledge in a public or semi-public place like a street or restaurant, the person whom you're recording may or may not have "an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation," and the reasonableness of the expectation would depend on the particular factual circumstances. Therefore, you cannot necessarily assume that you are in the clear simply because you are in a public place.

If you are operating in California, you should always get the consent of all parties before recording any conversation that common sense tells you might be "private" or "confidential." In addition to subjecting you to criminal prosecution, violating the California wiretapping law can expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party. See Cal. Penal Code § 637.2.

Consult The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press's Can We Tape?: California for more information on California wiretapping law.

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