What's Going On?

Hi Nannies,
I'm hoping someone can tell me what this is all about. I signed up with two nanny agencies and completed the screening process. I started getting calls for jobs and interviews. One of the agencies sent me to interview for what I would call a nanny dream job. Glorious children, house, nanny vehicle, alternate weeks at the beach house and great pay. I wanted the job so badly that the two interviews I went to after I was professional but very aware that neither job was nearly as appealing.
I got a call from her and she told me she was in the final selection process and wanted to know what my availability was for the first week of July. I had plans for the weekend, but said, "I'm available."

The next day she called me and offered me the job. She wanted me to start on Wednesday and we would go away on Thursday for the holiday. I did. The kids were great. She was peculiar but was busy with her own things so I was able to focus on the kids and have fun. The days went quickly. I met other nannies. We played on the beach. We came back to Manhattan on the 7th and she gave me the 8th off. I worked the 9th, 10th.

I was off on the weekend. We loosely discussed the pay arrangements, but both last Friday and the Friday before, I was paid in cash. I was paid the same for a weekend day as a weekday, I still got most of Tuesday off and all of Wednesday so it was okay, even though there was no fourth of July pay. Yesterday, Monday, I took the kids to the closest park and they were playing. We walked there with no stroller.

Fab Ciralo
When I got to the light by the building, holding both child's hands and walking, an older lady stopped suddenly and said "Got you" and snapped a picture of me, literally from five feet away. I hurried into the building and was kind of shaken. First I thought she had me mistaken for someone else. The kids were fortunately walking behind a dog walker and mesmerized by the dogs so they didn't get what happened.  All day long I was recounting my steps at the park. Yes, I sat and took out my phone, but briefly. I was attentive, encouraging and engaging.  I was seriously worried I was going to be a bad nanny sighting, and I know I'm a good nanny.I didn't mention this to my boss.

At about 3 in the afternoon, my boss comes out and says her husband was "all over her" because she hadn't had me sign a non disclosure agreement. Really wanting this job, I read it quickly and signed it. It basically said, I can't talk about my salary, personal information of the family, I can't take photos of the children or the home, all of that was basic.  The only questionable clause in there was regarding my role which basically said that I wouldn't disclose information about days, hours or pay or employment status or role to any third party without written permission from employer.

While reading it, (and eager to please), I said, "not sure I understand this. I was at the park and Child A was playing with a girl she seemed to know and her nanny said, 'are you the new nanny' and I said yes. This makes it sound like I shouldn't say that. She said she would prefer me to say I was "a friend of the family."

I'm so confused. On July 3 I had asked her if she notified the agency that she had selected me and her response was "let's just leave them out of this." Is that connected? When we were out to dinner the first weekend away, I did notice that she introduced me to people she ran into as her "good friend," and honestly as a nanny working in a circle of upscale people, it's nice not to be labeled as the help.

My emotions are all over the place. Mostly I think this could be really good. Then part of me thinks this could go really bad. What if they decide to fire me? Or bury me at sea?

NYC Nannies? Ring any bells?


Anonymous said...

Um. That NDA is illegal, employers are not allowed to ban employees from talking about their position nor their pay. This has red flags all over it, I'd keep looking if I were you, and don't accept any more payments in cash, you need to contact the agency.

Ellyson said...

[I posted a comment and it disappeared, so sorry if there is a double post]

It sounds like the family is trying to get out of paying the agent for the placement fee, which can be upwards of thousands of dollars. The lady who took your picture might be from the agency, trying to document that you are working for the family so they can bill/collect their money.

Jean said...

It sounds like the family wants to prevent you from sharing your pay/position with the relevant agencies. They're trying to avoid paying the placement agency's fee. Remember that agreeing to under cover/off the books work will you unemployment protection, verifiable work history etc...

The NDA has illegal clauses and is therefore illegalm AFAIK. I also think the woman is from the agency.

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Anonymous said...

If they will cheat the agency, they will cheat you.