19 November, 2012

Severance Pay Would Help Nanny's Holiday

OPINION
I have been with my current family for just about six months now. When I started this was a 1 year full time temporary position. Back in October Mom was laid off but switched into another department and I was told my job was safe. Well last week Tuesday evening I was told that the new position was not working out and that I in turn had four weeks which really was more of 3 weeks left in position because she would no longer be working, which meant the family could not afford to pay me! SUCKS right before the Holiday! At the sit down a severance was not mentioned... but as time is going I am having a difficult time with even getting an interview... as in my area there are really no open positions. Should I ask for a severance pay although it was not bought up and if yes how do I ask??? - Anonymous

27 comments:

MissMannah said...

If there was nothing about severance pay in the contract then no, you should not ask for it. Your boss gave you 4 weeks' notice, which is more than generous. Yeah it sucks to lose your job but that's life. Get a good letter of recommendation from her and just keep trying.

New said...

You can certainly ask.

Remember though that the family you are working for is also going to struggle financially.

Most people have a difficult job finding a job in this economy. Most people don't get severance.

Consider relocating or choosing a different profession if there are no open jobs in your area. The alternative is asking an already cash-strapped family to pay you for not working for them.

RaleighWorld said...

I totally would and wouldn't feel one bit bad about it.

I'm sorry you're having a difficult time looking for work most everyone is focusing on the upcoming holidays and their minds are elsewhere.

Hopefully they'll be understanding. Maybe I didn't read right but is dad around? Did they both sit down with you? maybe mb and db just need to talk together and I hope severance comes up. if not I wouldn't hesitate at all to ask.

good luck!

ericsmom said...

Hi OP

Are you on the books? If so can you collect temporary? While you are searching for a job.

NayTheNanny said...

Omgosh...I am so sorry! That is terrible, I really feel for you. I guess if they are letting you go because they can no longer afford to pay you, a decent severance is a long shot BUT that doesn't mean you shouldn't ask. Let them know that you realize they will be financially strapped given their current circumstances, but that you are really struggling to find work. See if they would be willing to help you find a new position (posting an ad for you, talking to friends, etc.) And absolutely put it out there that whatever they can manage to do to help you until you get back on your feet would be greatly appreciated. Good luck...I hope you find work before Christmas at least. ::Hugs.::

Not Anonymous Feelgood said...

I wouldn't. Their serving as a good reference is far more valuable. I wouldn't muddy it.

Anonymous said...

I am not on the books so I cannot collect

Anonymous said...

Thanks a million! I am going to ask today and I will let you know the outcome.

Anonymous said...

Yes, dad is around and he's a surgeon

A said...

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BrooklynMomma said...

I agree with the others who advised you to not bring it up. I'm very sorry you're losing your job. I hope you're able to find something soon.

RaleighWorld said...

Yes please update us and I hope you get an answer. at least if they do say no you won't be wondering what they would have said if you hadn't asked, ya know? you have to look out for you.

good luck!

Brynn said...

I wouldn't ask for severance from them. They probably do not have any to give you plus you may come off as being greedy which may affect how they vouch for you as a potential reference.

I am so sorry things have not worked out for you, and I am even sorrier that it has happened right during the holidays. :(

Good Luck OP said...

I got an addition weeks worth of pay for a job that I quit after a couple of weeks. If they value you, they'll pay you a little extra to show their appreciation of you. Otherwise they're cheap and stingy IMO.

Nay The Nanny said...

A I will be sure to contact you regarding that.

NannyBrandie said...

Asking for severance pay at this point seems a little tacky to me. Since they gave you a months notice and you didn't have anything about severance pay in the contract I would not bring it up. If you knew that the job was temorary, why haven't you looked for employment elsewhere? Also, with your next job, make sure it's on the books so you can collect unemployment if it falls through.

Manhattan Nanny said...

OP,
So sorry you are losing your job. I don't agree with some of the responses here advising not to ask about severance. The way I see it is this. They hired you for one year, but are letting you go after 6 months, through no fault of yours. They were not paying you on the books, as required by law, so you can't collect unemployment insurance. This leaves you with no income at all at a time of year when it is very difficult to find nanny jobs. Needing money for rent and food is not greedy! Of course I know nothing about this family's financial situation. That being said, I find it hard to believe that a two income family, one of whom is a surgeon, is living so hand to mouth that they can't offer any severance.

Ask MB for a letter of rec., and if she would post for you on any parenting boards, send an e-mail out to friends and colleagues etc. Start your own job search. She is dealing with her own loss of a job. Give her time to think about your situation before you ask about severance. Maybe they will give you what they would have given you for a holiday bonus.

I hope you find a job soon, and please check back and let us know how it is going.

New said...

This is in regards to this comment...

Good Luck OP said...
I got an addition weeks worth of pay for a job that I quit after a couple of weeks. If they value you, they'll pay you a little extra to show their appreciation of you. Otherwise they're cheap and stingy IMO.


How would it be greedy and stingy to not give severance. They gave notice and have a valid reason to let her go.

Also, this was all off the books and there was nothing mentioned about severance in the contract.

Kat said...

Surgeons make a TON of money, I don't see why they shouldn't be able to give you a decent severance. But OP, next time make sure you're on the books so if this happens again you can collect unemployment.

been there said...

NannyBrandie, its not the OP's fault. This job was supposed to last a year and they cut it short by 6mo. That left her barely 4wks to find a new job and we all know in this economy (and depending on where you live, it could be worse!) that 3-4 wks is hardly enough time to find a new job- especially one that meets your expectations of pay, hours, location, etc.

OP, I'm so sorry this happened to you. Personally, I would ask for severance, even though it wasn't discussed, because they changed the rules of the game mid-stream. It certainly couldn't hurt to ask anyway. But remember, your reference should be the most important. If they refuse severance, at least tell them you need an excellent reference- or better yet- ask for that FIRST!

Good luck, please let us know what happens!

Anonymous said...

If you read what I wrote I've been at this job for about six months and it was suppose to last a year! So, me losing my job was a surprise my time was not up! I'm not irresponsible if I knew my job was ending I would've looked! And it's not tacky when you have responsibilities at stake that you have to take care of! And to find out she was not laid off she actually resigned and my 4 week notice has been cut in half so this is my last week.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I haven't yet asked and I am when I return Monday and everything you stated is why I'm going to ask. I have a lot to lose if I don't gain employment.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I will be in touch

CharHen said...

Give me a break! "Surgeons make a ton of money"? You have no idea what their financial sitution is. He might have huge student loans, might just be starting his career, or might have other financial commitments. Even if he does make a lot of money that doesn't entitle her to severace if it wasn't in the contract.

Maybe somewhat off topic but I am irked by the attitude that because a family is perceived to be well off that they should pay their nanny much more than others. If a family is paying a fair, livable wage, the nanny should only make more if she does an exceptional job or there are other exceptional circumstances. The family's financial situation alone is not an excuse to pay a nanny less or more than what is fair!!

Bethany said...

I'm sorry you are in this position. I was laid of unexpectedly as well and there is no way to say it but it sucks.

I hope you are as lucky as I was and find a job right away.

Start looking for a new job right away. Exhaust all your options. Ask MB to put in a word for you, use the care sites, CL, agencies, advertise at mommy & me groups etc. Leave no stone unturned.

I would first get a written letter of reference. Get that letter in your hand.

I would then ask for severance.

I hope you find something soon.

Manhattan Nanny said...

CharHen,
"The family's financial situation alone is not an excuse to pay a nanny less or more than what is fair!!"
Families do frequently use their financial situation as and excuse to pay LESS than what is fair. You listed several, student loans etc. as possible justification for not giving severance.

The OP and her employer had a 1 year agreement. They are letting her go after 6 months, not for cause. In this case, severance is "fair". You are right in that she is not legally "entitled", but there is an ethical aspect. It is the decent thing to do.

nycmom said...

CharHen,

I completely agree and this is one of my employer pet peeves. Setting aside the severance issue -- The parents hire you to perform a job at an agreed upon salary. If they stick to the contract, their income or how they spend their time is of ZERO relevance to your job performance or pay structure.

Even if you see their annual tax returns, this often does not reflect their full financial situation. If you find you are resentful of them because you feel their income means yours should be higher, then this is the wrong position for you. Even if both parents are unemployed, living on a trust, and spending their days shopping, that is not your business. I do believe, and always disclose, our general lifestyle during interviews because I know some nannies do not want to work in certain situations and I respect that. But unless you were willfully deceived and misled regarding your job and pay, you need to stop drawing a correlation between their perceived finances and your salary.

Regarding severance, get the letter of reference, then ask. Keep the relationship going strong through holiday bonus season at least. Unless you have many great prior references and a great explanation for the work gap, you need the letter more than the severance. But after you get the letter, ask away.