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Our nanny quit... (v. long post) - Page 5

post #81 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
I'm not offended at the idea that employers need to protect themselves as best they can. That's half the reason why there's a contract, after all.

All I'm saying is if you expect your nanny to pay you your salary for the day if you don't like her reason for her absence, that's going a little over the top. You mentioned you'd basically charge her for your roughly $30+/hr pay. Well, that's not exactly fair, or enforceable. You SHOULD be able to deduct her pay from her next check, and/or charge her a fee (or perhaps what it would cost to bring in temporary help). But the assistant (or even the VP) doesn't pay back the CEO the CEO's cut of the the day if they miss a day. Does that make sense?
Well, not quite, because it's not the same kind of working relationship. The VP is probably not working for the CEO; the VP is working for the company's owners, private or shareholders. If a VP flakes in a way that makes it impossible for the company to do business, then you'd better believe that the VP is going to be on the receiving end of lawsuits for hefty damages.

VPs don't usually have the power to stop a corporation in its tracks, though. Business will go on. Flaky and no-notice-quitting nannies, on the other hand, can certainly stop a mother from getting to work.

A better comparison is contracts with builders, website design firms, etc. Anyone whose service is essential to your being able to do business, to the point where you literally cannot do business if they don't perform as promised. And in that case, sure, people routinely sue others for loss of income because services were not provided as stated under contract.

Quote:
My other issue would be with pragmatic enforcement. While I understand and agree with "trial period" clauses in a contract, after that point...there has to be some degree of trust if I'm going to work for someone. If I call in sick, and especially if the employer is not providing health care benefits, if it's something like the flu that's going to be over with in 24-48 hours I'd rather not have to take additional time off and/or incur doctor's visit expense for a note. Either they trust me professionally, or they don't. I'm not paying someone $300+ a day for two days because I caught a virus that their kid probably gave me when I took care of them while they're ill. If they're going to demand that I take even more time off to provide a doctor's note, then decide whether or not to charge me for that too, speaks of a lot more control issues than I want to deal with.
Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I wouldn't hire someone under contract without including fairly generous sick/personal days. Things happen. People get sick, teeth break, cars break down, friends and parents need a hand. If the personal days are exhausted, though, and you're still sick or having trouble all the time, then I genuinely sympathize, but I gotta let you go. I'm a breadwinner, not a social services agency. (There was one girl a year or so ago who was real nice, and then kept vanishing to go take care of her dad, who was sick and going through a divorce. I really do sympathize, but I wasn't her mom, and the bills here don't magically get paid if I can't get to work. She was very upset when I fired her; she seemed to think I owed her support while she tended her dad.) If the theoretical nanny showed up with doctors' notes and it's clear that yeah, she was really sick, then no, I'm not going to go after the lost income. But it's up to the nanny. Otherwise I'd assume she had a choice about not showing up, and try to recover the income.

Again, I'm not sure what you're so upset about here. This is pretty routine in other parts of the work world, and it's often much harsher. I appreciate companies that go the personal-days route, because you don't have to run to the doctor to prove your illness every time, but plenty of businesses still do it the old way. And after you use up the sick time, sure, a boss who keeps you on will ask for doc notes, steer you towards FMLA, etc. I can promise you that the boss does not want a note saying, "My nanny left, I'm really sorry, I can't come in today because I don't have childcare."

People like me who run our own businesses don't have to bother with notes, but we also don't get sick days. The deadlines are the deadlines, and the clients don't care if we've had our heads temporarily severed; they want the job done. A month ago I was outside, four days into the flu, shoveling 11 inches of fresh snowfall out of the driveway so I could bring my daughter to daycare and get to work. If I could've stayed home and just gone to the doctor? Gee, that would've been pretty sweet.

I have limited sympathy on the health insurance issue, btw. I've paid for my own health insurance for the last 13 years despite a chronic illness and many years of income under $20K. Currently I pay $500/mo out of pocket for insurance for me and my daughter, but if it were just me on my own, I'd be able to find reasonable coverage for $90/mo.

Quote:
I think if you want to avoid flakes, that you should fire them. Three strikes and your out policy or harsher. Hard lesson to learn for a newbie, but better they learn good habits early on. But demanding they pay you your salary plus lose out on theirs? Seems a little on the crazy side to me. Personal preference and all.
Sure, you have to fire flakes. I don't hire nannies anymore; we have a saint of a daycare guy...man, he's wonderful, and so are all the other people working there. They've really helped raise my daughter, and they've done a great job. An I-can't-repay-them job. I'm almost sorry to send dd to kindergarten; in a lot of ways I think they teach better & more important stuff at the daycare, and it's just a nicer place. The food's sure better. Sigh. Anyway. For babysitters, I have a one-strike policy at this point. In general, if you call and cancel with less than 24 hrs notice, then I can see we'll have trouble again, and that's enough.

Paying for monetary damages that you cause your employer by breaking the contract...all I can tell you is that it's standard in professional contracts. You just incorporate and carry insurance. If you screw up somehow and get sued, your insurance will pay, not you.

Quote:
If someone is the type to call in sick and go to baja for the week, I can assure you, no amount of threatening her that she owes you $3000 will prevent someone from acting like a tool nor will it mean they'll just fork over the $$.
No. And no threatening is necessary. Contracts should never be about threats. It just means that you can go to the magistrate and get the money back now or later....ah, I think I see what this is about. I have a feeling you think that this is some sort of personal thing, and you're not used to mothers who don't care about that end of it, but do care about getting to work.
post #82 of 90
I have been babysitting since I was 12 and have been a Professional Nanny for 15 years. I have training and I have a degree, I am NOT a babysitter. I am rather offended by the idea that so many of you think that being a Nanny is "just a job" and we'd all jump ship for more money. I don't think I've ever been hired by a parent who considered their child's Nanny "just another job". I have a huge professional AND personal interest in any family that I have worked for. I have attended the college graduations for some of "my children". I have NEVER left one Family for another over solely money. That being said I will not put up with non-sense. Good professional Nannies ARE hard to come by. Also I would NEVER EVER go to work for a Mother who considered it ethically okay to steal another family's Nanny. In doing that all you know is that your Nanny chose to work for you because you offered more money. I always spend 2 weeks with a family before signing a contract. A Nanny MUST be the right fit for each family and a family must be the right fit for each Nanny. I am friends with many other Professional Nannies and not one of them could be considered a flake. Parents that show up late with notice, parents who "are a little short this week" or who are "sure you don't mind cleaning a bit" are a bigger problem from my end. Of course I was not a flake as a teenage babysitter either. I worked for one family for 10 years, going on vacations and living with the children (4) while the parents were out of town. This job did pay well, but what kept me totally loyal to them was being treated with absolute respect, and insisted that their kids and other family do the same. I have had several job offers from parents who want a Professional Nanny but want to pay a babysitter

To the OP, I think asking your Nanny to join you for coffee and a chat would be very intelligent. She may have left for more money, or maybe not... Try something like "I hope you'll be very happy with family x, we really enjoyed your time with us. Is there any reason other than keeping twins that made you want to leave, and please be honest with me. We want to find a long term Nanny for DD and if there was anything that was problematic for you I'd love to know so that I can try to avoid that in the future." If you think money may have been a factor, you may want to check that what you are paying is in line with the average with your area.
Good Luck!

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post #83 of 90
If you get childcare you expect to have some unexpected days where you will not have anyone to cover things, it is the nature of childcare. People get sick or sometimes a person seems right but then turns out to be a flake. And while it would be great to have a contract that says they won't it would be a huge hassle to enforce it and if you did find someone else to cover for the nanny you might not be able to enforce it other than taking away the nannies pay for the days missed because you did not suffer any missed days at work and there was therefore no damage other than the annoyance of having a nanny flake off. To actually enforce the contract you would have to suffer damage and prove that it was from the nanny was being flaky. I do think it would be a sign that you don't have a flaky nanny if they do take sign the contract but it may take a while to find a nanny who will sign it and you may have to offer really nice wages to go along with a contract like that.
post #84 of 90
BTW SC is another "right to work " state so that contract would be unenforceable here to.
post #85 of 90
Well, this is an interesting question at law. In a practical sense, the obvious thing to do is shift liability to nanny agencies and/or take advantage of an insurance market, but that still leaves an interesting question.

Household employees cannot, by law, be independent contractors, which means that in at-will states there is (if I understand correctly) no legal way of holding them liable for business losses or damage to professional reputation. However, we have millions -- maybe tens of millions -- of working parents who depend on childcare providers so that they can work. There's no way around that one short of saying, "don't work" or "don't have children," and obviously that's not something that a court can get away with saying. If the childcare provider flakes or quits abruptly, the family may suffer economic damage as a direct result.

If that provider is a daycare center, the parents can sign a contract for services with the center, and have recourse if the center suddenly has erratic hours or closes for a week without notice. (And before you get into that one, yes, I've done it.) Then the situation is analogous to a contractor not finishing your office. But in many places there's also a chronic shortage of daycare-center infantcare slots, and there's ample evidence that the market won't take care of that problem. Hence the market for nannies, and you can't make a contract with them in at-will states.

Which means you have all these parents -- women, mostly -- trying to support their families, and entirely unprotected if a nanny up and quits. And it's a funny situation, because normally we're accustomed to drawing a sharp line between household and work. But in this case, they're joined at the hip. If the household help -- the nanny -- leaves, the mother can't work until she's found a replacement.

It's unreasonable to say to the mothers, "Don't hire nannies until you get a law, insurance policy, or agency contract that will cover your losses if the nanny flakes," because they must work. In general they don't have the power to press that bargain. So I don't think the market can take care of that one, either. Maybe what's needed is a law -- state law, I'd think -- developing insurance markets for this sort of thing, and requiring everyone to put something into the pot -- the employer, the employee, the nanny agencies, and the state itself. What would be especially interesting is that the claims would make the scope of the problem visible. If you have tens or hundreds of thousands of nanny-insurance claims each year in a state from women whose nannies have flaked/quit and directly cost them money or inflicted career damage, then you have the makings of public policy.

Huh. I'll have to talk about that with a friend who's a statehouse majority whip and a great big feminist, and see what she thinks.
post #86 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
If a VP flakes in a way that makes it impossible for the company to do business, then you'd better believe that the VP is going to be on the receiving end of lawsuits for hefty damages.
Actually, more often than not, the vp gets a golden handshake and a hefty severance, rather than a lawsuit.
post #87 of 90
As a great big feminist I am sure she would side with a nanny's right to not be beat down by her employer and some crazy scheme to hold a nanny who make what? 1200-2000 a month be responsible for someone's $70/hr wage for a week.

Also why not just dock her pay for the amount of time your nanny is absent. It's what most employers with hourly wage employees do.
post #88 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post
As a great big feminist I am sure she would side with a nanny's right to not be beat down by her employer and some crazy scheme to hold a nanny who make what? 1200-2000 a month be responsible for someone's $70/hr wage for a week.
As a great big feminist she would likely side with both. That's why an insurance plan that spreads both risk and responsibility, without being onerous to anyone, may be interesting to her. I would imagine that it could also create incentive for nannies to get professional and sign up with an agency, because an agency could then pay their insurance fee for them.

Quote:
Also why not just dock her pay for the amount of time your nanny is absent. It's what most employers with hourly wage employees do.
Because I'm not interested in punishing a nanny. I'm interested in recovering losses.

Most employers with hourly wage employers are not 100% dependent on their showing up for work in order to do business. They're in trouble if a large percentage of the employees fail to show up for a single shift, but the likelihood of that is much lower than the likelihood of a nanny failing to show. That's where the distinction lies.
post #89 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Actually, more often than not, the vp gets a golden handshake and a hefty severance, rather than a lawsuit.
Cf. Andy Fastow.

Not so much.
post #90 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
Cf. Andy Fastow.

Not so much.



Okay, that's ONE.
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