My sister was a nanny for one year, ten months for a wealthy family in Scarsdale. Both parents worked in the city and she cared for their children, both under 4 years of age.  My sister has been dealing with cancer for the past three months. Last week her family told her it was time for her to "go home and take care of herself." I am sure that she was more tired and her appearance has changed, but she is great at what she does and she pushes herself to do what she does. She was selfless to those people, and they took complete advantage of her for most of the time. My sister is older than I, childless and 52.

     The family told her they would start looking for a replacement this week and I know they are interviewing this weekend. That's it though? They aren't offering her anything in the way of severance and didn't want her to stay on until the new nanny started. My sister said they were uncomfortable by the idea of her possibly dying and didn't want to "have to deal".

     I am in California, three thousand miles away. How can people be so heartless? My sister cared for their newborn when she came home from the hospital, sick and on a feeding tube. She worked late at no cost and never missed a day. How is this fair? How is this right? And who's going to hire her now?


Seri said...

First, I'm sorry about your sister's illness. If she's paid on the books maybe she can apply for unemployment since she was let go. I don't think FMLA applies since this isn't a company with more than 50 employees.

I would hope that a decent family would pay severance, but I'm not sure what to make of her old bosses. It would be incredibly hard on the kids to lose their nanny because she died. Also, if she's sick, maybe some of her duties are falling by the wayside. Again, not her fault she's sick, just trying to see both sides.

It's emotional enough being a nanny. I don't like being 'treated like family' for exactly this reason. At the end of the day, it's a job and they have to do what they have to do. If she'd quit because of her illness, I wouldn't have faulted her.

It may be best for your sister to focus on treatment now. Hopefully she has money saved up and or insurance.

Again, so sorry she's sick. The parents sound unfeeling, but I can't seem to be able to blame them 100%

this_nick said...

I'm not familiar with the laws of NY state but I hope she can sue them. If nothing else it gets their names in the paper, exposed for the human excrement they are. Best wishes to your sister for a full recovery, and to find new employers who aren't terrible humans.

thirty something said...

I see both sides too. It sounds like they tried to keep her on but ultimately, someone with cancer is not reliable and capable of looking after two small children. I nursed my father through cancer and it is hard. If they've told her to go home and look after herself, it must be because she is not doing well. The children need stability too. As wealthy as they may be, there are few families who can afford salary for two full time nannies. I hope they gave her severance though and that she has been paid on the books so that she can file for disability.Its not an easy situation and I am sure the family did not take the decision lightly.