Exit Strategy

     My husband and I had a meeting with our nanny of 4.5 years on Wednesday night. We talked about changes coming up. One of our children is not going to sleep away camp, so we need someone to work a full day during the summer. This is due to personal issues, also surrounding some of the changes. We need to move towards a governess type nanny who can work one on one with once child in particular. During the conversation, the nanny said she would forgo her camp job this summer to continue working with us and that she could more than handle the tutoring and one on one with our child. She argued that no one knows him better than her. The truth is our child is on the spectrum. She does know him well, but one of the reasons we want to make changes is to improve his outlook and daily life. This would require more education and skills. We  discussed this and the nanny seems to understand we will also be looking to provide more in the way of compensation.
Ada Breedveld
On Thursday night, the nanny approached me alone to follow up on the conversation. She told me that she has waited for three years for me to offer her health insurance and gone without. She also told me this was illegal and that had we been paying her on the books and she was terminated for the new hire we seek, she would be entitled to unemployment. Things are deteriorating rapidly, no doubt because feelings are involved. She then told me what she would be entitled to for six months of unemployment and said she thinks that she deserves that for everything she did for our family and for the reason she was being so quickly replaced. I did not tell her, but we have already spoken to candidates about taking over the job. We wanted her to stay with us through June 26. Clearly that is not going to happen. My husband is of course irate and sees it as she is blackmailing us. I can see his side of it, but the reality is, if she were to report us to the IRS, wouldn't we owe more money? We have not paid into unemployment and we also have two part time housekeepers. For reference the amount she is asking for is $9900. I'd rather end things amicably, especially because of my son whom she is bonded with. I've also spoken to my cousin who knows her well and says that she could in reality be entitled to more than that if she extended her unemployment, and that she should get severance in addition to the unemployment amount. I'm not angry at anyone. I am just stressed and want to keep the peace. I did make the mistake of suggesting to her she could easily find another job and I would provide her with a great letter of reference. I suggested I would help her and she wouldn't need unemployment, but she bristled at that. She has taken great pride in volunteering at a local camp for underprivileged kids while my kids are in daycamp and I suggested, also to her chagrin, that perhaps that could turn into a job.


Anonymous said...

Dammmnnnnn.... Excuse me, but your a bitch!! All this years , she has been loyal to you and this is how your thanking her??? OF COURSE she is angry !!

She gave nearly 5 years of her life to serve your family . Her big mistake was to work for you under the table. And yes, if she reports you, you are going to be in a deeeeep shit. Just saying...

I hate bosses like you. You don't realise that even if it's a job , we do get attached to the children and vice versa ! This isn't like any other job and you should have been very delicate and understanding with her.

I understand that the need of a family changes, it's life. But to be honest , here is where you did wrong:

-You should have tell her that your need have changed and that it's with deep regret you'll have to change nanny

- Thanking her for all this year of loyalty to your family and since she was getting paid under the table, offering her a verrrryyyyy generous severance package for all the years she didn't put into her retirement plan.

If you did that , perhaps it would have ended more smoothly. I think that the nanny believes that you are getting rid of her like paper trash now that you fire her that way which is most likely why she got resentful. I'd be furious if it was me although I never take employment under the table to avoid bosses like you scrapping my rights.

PRAY she doesn't report you to the tax man because if she does , YOUR FUCKED ..

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahahahahahaha even if she does report them she is an idiot herself. She knowingly got paid under the table all these years AND didn't pay her own taxes. So she to would have to pay in.

Jessie Bear said...

In the past, when my employers have needed me to know particular skills, they have paid for job development training and seminars (CPR, lifeguard skills, therapeutic play techniques, vision and speech therapy exercise training from the specialists). A more thoughtful and compassionate boss might suggest this as a perfect time to help nanny get credentialed as a special needs paraprofessional

nannytakingnamesandnumbers said...

I don't know if she has to pay in. My employers were assholes about paying the least possible and didn't want to pay taxes. I wrote them emails, asking them to be on the books so I could BUY A CAR and, guess what? In the settlement, they had to pay both sides of backtaxes because in so many words they threatened me with no job for asking and said they had ALWAYS paid cash under the table.

Anonymous said...

First Anon - the family didnt "DO" anything to the nanny. Their TYPE of needs have changed....a situation that does need special skills. Not anyone can just "Educate" a child. Regardless,kids GROW! Households CHANGE! Part of life.

This nanny is the one who is F'd up....shes manipulative and vindictive. A severance pay and a great reference is all I would want....not to mention as a backup babysitter. This nanny screwed over the family she supposedly cared-for?

OP: even if you decide to play her game now, shes got you by the balls no matter when her last day is, nothing changes for now or later....still in the same predicament.

She is equally at fault in this tax issue - Im willing to bet she didnt file taxes on the money she earned. IRS will penalize her as well. The street is two ways here, BUT, the finances will be harder on her than it will you and you should remind her of that - shes going to feel the financial pain more. She will need to OWE the IRS years of back taxes with penalties and interest.

The nanny is a moron! She lost out on a lot!

Angi - nanny of 30 years, background in special needs and situations and a homeschooler!

Anonymous said...

Also, you never said what state youre in.


Anonymous said...

Are you paying her on the books? It sounds like you are but she thinks the fact that you didn't offer insurance is illegal. I'm pretty certain it's not.

She is entitled to file for unemployment and I think you should allow her to collect it. She's done nothing wrong, you simply need someone with better qualifications to handle your child on the spectrum.

But can you please clarify if you pay on the books (taxes etc) or off?

Anonymous said...

Angie, before critisizing the first post , read it ENTIRELY. The post state that some changes are needed and that it's understandable that sometimes it's no longer a fit. The first post meant on how OP handled things regarding someone that cared for their family so long!

Yes the nanny wasn't very smart on that one and shouldn't have taken this employment by the books.

Furthermore, the bosses that employ legally do have an understanding that employees need to have right and as a results of that, treat them better.

Declared employment , written contract as well as a good fit are the keys for a healthy long term commitment and more importantly , a Happy ending !

Anonymous said...

I meant should've have taken the employment on the books

Anonymous said...

I entirely agree with this comment. Presumably the nanny is no fool and knew all along that she was being paid under the table. If she wanted otherwise, she should have challenged you on that note 5 years ago. If she wanted help with health insurance, she should have spoken up- it's not up to you to provide her with that as an obligation as far as I am aware. As long as you have treated her well for the past 5 years, I don't think you've done anything wrong in giving her notice: your needs have changed. No nanny job lasts forever. Ask her if she has paid her taxes all along. Suggest you will overlook the animosity, provide a good reference and help her to find a new job. If she messes with you, she loses the reference and 5 years is a big black hole in a resume. Silly woman, I'm with your husband.

Anonymous said...

Your post was derogatory, mouthy and disrespectful. The OP didn't do anything wrong (aside from of books). I stand by my comment

Angi.....NO E

That little nanny said...

All these anonymous comments are driving me crazy!!!! Anonymous responding to anonymous about the comment she made about anonymous. Is there no way to not allow people to comment unless they pick a name?

this_nick said...

The blog owner could change the comment settings.

this_nick said...

After that length of employment it would have been better to give her more notice so she had enough time to secure a decent new job. I can see why she wants unemployment; she's likely going to need it! This post is a cautionary tale for all parents thinking of paying a caregiver off the books; it can definitely come back to bite you in the ass!

Anonymous said...

I use my name at the end my comment. I stopped using the name thing because on a phone its a PITA to go through all the steps to go through using more than anonymous


Anonymous said...

Unless OP changed/edited the post she did say it was ON the books when I read it so no the nanny didn't screw herself over and I would go for unemployment. The OP sounds like she's 'entitled' to just lay someone off with no notice and she'd walk away. If I was the nanny I'd milk unemployment for as long as possible and make sure that I didn't find a job until it ran out just to make sure OP knew better for the next nanny she screws over. She's losing her paycheck over OP who doesn't know crap about the 'spectrum' because they need stability and she's not getting that. She's trying to screw both her kid and the nanny over. Here's PRAYING that kid makes both parents and the new 'nannys' life a living hell so they find out what they lost. I would NEVER work for a family with a sn brat who fired their last nanny. I always ask to speak to current and previous nannies. Some leave for school, they move or whatever but if they don't let you that's a big red flag.