Tactfully firing a baby-sitter - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 15 Old 10-19-2011, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
liberal_chick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

This is such new ground for me.

 

We have a sitter who comes to our home about 25 hours a week.  She keeps my 2 boys (plus my first grader after school, he rides the bus home) fed and alive.  That's about the extent of the work she does. 

 

At first she was great, but she's been going downhill rapidly as of late.  It has gotten to the point that she's late at least half of the time, she's not cleaning up messes during the day, and I'm almost positive that she's putting my 2 year old in front of Netflix all day.  She's not very nurturing (she sends my 1 year old to the door to watch me leave every day and he just cries and cries, breaks my heart) and my dh has caught her in a lie before (my ds3 was sitting in a poopy diaper that she said he "just did," dh said that judging from the redness on his bottom that this was absolutely not true).

 

She's also been harassing us for a pay raise.  She's been with us for 7 months and has already gotten a 15% raise.  Now she wants another 30%.  We told her that we just can't afford to pay her more right now, which is the God's honest truth.  When she saw that we got football tickets on facebook (which were given to us for free, the trip to watch the game won't cost us anything either b/c we'll stay with MIL and eat her food, LOL), she sent me a text telling me how offended she was b/c we said we couldn't pay her more but we're going to a football game and we were going shopping (for winter clothes for the kids, which she knew is why we were going) over the weekend.  I mean, this text went on and on; it was so long her phone broke it up into 5 different messages.  Then she's asked about a raise 2 times this week already.   I know they are struggling financially right now, but we aren't in a position to bail her out, especially when her work is borderline unacceptable.

 

Anyway, we were going to sit down with her and tell her that this is what we pay, period.  But I put my feelers out on care.com and got some good response, so if I can find an acceptable replacement I want to let her go.  I'm a softie, though.  And a conflict avoider.  So I just don't know how to go about this.  Dh does a lot of hiring and firing at work, so I plan to let him do a lot of the talking, but I'm expecting some vile feedback.  I wouldn't be surprised if she blows my phone up with texts or goes beserk on my facebook page (although I do plan to unfriend/block her very soon, like tomorrow).

 

Any tips for doing firing?  I feel terrible about it all even though I know I shouldn't.


Wife to an amazing man love.gif, mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) hbac.gif, and ds3 (9/26/10) hbac.gif. Part time librarianread.gif, full time mommysupermod.gif, occasional chef and maid.

liberal_chick is offline  
#2 of 15 Old 10-19-2011, 02:42 PM
 
saimeiyu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Makakilo, HI
Posts: 1,141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would stop giving her soft answers about the raise first, actually.

 

Telling her that you can't afford it says that you would LIKE to give her a raise, when in all actuality, you are saying that she does not deserve a raise.

 

Have you brought up the lies, the lateness, etc?  Because if you're just noting it down and haven't mentioned it to her, why would she fix it?

 

So, really, I'd tell her,

 

"These are your deficiencies.  I am not OK with them.  You are not getting a raise."  and she'll probably quit in a fit of pique on her own, if she's the type to blow up and send nasty texts.

 

That will solve the problem of "firing" her all on its own.

 

If, on the other hand, she does actually start fixing All the Things that she's not doing properly, then your problem is solved because maybe you won't have to fire her after all. 

 

If she doesn't correct the deficiencies, then you tell her, "we talked about this a month ago.  You have not corrected the deficiencies, and I have caught you lying to me.  You are fired for that reason.  Thanks and have a nice day."

transylvania_mom likes this.
saimeiyu is offline  
#3 of 15 Old 10-19-2011, 03:13 PM
 
pumpkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Stepford
Posts: 2,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

That set of texts complaining about how you spend your money would be enough to warrant firing the sitter.  I would make arrangements for a replacement and then pick the day that will be her last.  Do not fire her at the beginning of a shift.  Make sure you get your keys.  Since this is the kind of dismissal where you can't give notice, I think it would be nice to offer a weeks severance even if that is a stretch for you financially.  

creddy likes this.

Mom to Kira March 2009
pumpkin is offline  
#4 of 15 Old 10-19-2011, 03:23 PM
 
Katwoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Alaska
Posts: 665
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

She can only treat you the way you'll allow her to treat you.  Block her phone number from your phone.  Yes, it cost money, but if you can't avoid reading her text, then avoid the problem of getting the texts.

 

I know firing people sucks.  But you need to remember that her behavior is what this firing is about.  If she was going to be professional, she would have been by now.  If she thinks it's okay to criticize the way her employer spends their money, she has more problems than you should be willing to hold her hands through fixing.  (I was with the pp about talking to her first and giving her time to rectify the problem, but once I got to the point in your post about the text, I just don't think this relationship can be salvaged.  You both have entirely different ideas about what is appropriate.)

 

Oh, and change your locks even if you get the keys back.  You should be confident that only your family has access to your house.

 

Katwoman is offline  
#5 of 15 Old 10-28-2011, 05:58 AM
 
Imakcerka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 4,065
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

Oh man!  She would be OUT!  You start talking to me like you're my mother questioning how I spend my money you gotta go!  Honestly if you're worried about being nice she already crossed that line so don't worry and let her complain.  Sounds like you won't be able to make her happy anyway. 

Imakcerka is offline  
#6 of 15 Old 10-28-2011, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
liberal_chick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Just in case you were wondering :lol: we fired her on Monday and it went horribly.  She found our ad on care.com over the weekend somehow and sent me a text about it while I was in the doc's office with my ds1.  Then she called 5 times in a row (didn't answer b/c I was tied up with the doc).  She left a voicemail (very snarky and rude) and eventually called my dh, which was her biggest misstep b/c he doesn't take crap like I do.  He arranged for us to meet with her to talk about some issues on Monday morning.  We really thought she'd straighten up a bit after that, but Sunday night she sent me a rude text asking me to fill her in on some of the "issues" we wanted to talk about.  I ignored the text since it came in at almost 10 pm.

 

Monday she came in and said nothing.  Not a word to me, not a word to the boys.  It was the first time I ever felt nervous to leave them.  Dh ended up having a work emergency Monday morning so we couldn't all meet then.  She called him and asked (not in a nice way, he said) if he'd forgotten about the meeting.  He explained to her what happened and, since I didn't know he'd done that, I explained to her as well.  She said "ok" and that's the only word I got out of her.  He called me and told me that he was just done.

 

Now she's harassing us for a 1099 form.  She sent me a text today saying if it wasn't in her mailbox by Tuesday she was reporting us to the labor board.  I really have no clue what she's going on about since what she needs is a W2 and we have until Jan 31 to get it to her.  Dh drafted her up a letter with all the IRS form numbers telling her what, exactly, we needed to get to her and when and that the labor board does not regulate babysitters.  We're going to send it certified mail and start keeping records of all our communication with her in writing.


Wife to an amazing man love.gif, mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) hbac.gif, and ds3 (9/26/10) hbac.gif. Part time librarianread.gif, full time mommysupermod.gif, occasional chef and maid.

liberal_chick is offline  
#7 of 15 Old 10-28-2011, 11:30 PM
 
lookatreestar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 987
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

what a crazy lady!! wow... yeah.


mama to one '07 and one '09
lookatreestar is offline  
#8 of 15 Old 10-29-2011, 07:16 AM
 
Imakcerka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 4,065
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

Holy crap!  Thank god you guys got rid of her.  I can't imagine what her problem is. 

Imakcerka is offline  
#9 of 15 Old 10-29-2011, 09:26 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)

That sounds like a horrible situation to be in.  Hopefully you are able to find someone more stable next time.  Did she consider herself an independent contractor or were you actually the taxes employers pay (unemployment, ss, medicaid)?  I don't know much about this type of thing, but if she thinks she is an independent contractor it may be better for you guys to give her the 1099 form and be done with her rather than to risk her filing for unemployment, especially if you haven't been paying taxes on her employment.  The labor board may regulate her work if you have been paying taxes to consider her an employee and the IRS may if you have been paying her but not paying taxes to employ her.  The amount you can make without paying taxes or reporting it is very small and you should make sure you are in it before you go any further with this because she sounds like someone who will make a lot of trouble for you if she gets a chance.  There may also be a law about how promptly you are required to turn over forms once they are requested, there is one about paying employees within two business days if they request it upon quitting or being fired so this may also be one.

One_Girl is online now  
#10 of 15 Old 10-31-2011, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
liberal_chick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

That sounds like a horrible situation to be in.  Hopefully you are able to find someone more stable next time.  Did she consider herself an independent contractor or were you actually the taxes employers pay (unemployment, ss, medicaid)?  I don't know much about this type of thing, but if she thinks she is an independent contractor it may be better for you guys to give her the 1099 form and be done with her rather than to risk her filing for unemployment, especially if you haven't been paying taxes on her employment.  The labor board may regulate her work if you have been paying taxes to consider her an employee and the IRS may if you have been paying her but not paying taxes to employ her.  The amount you can make without paying taxes or reporting it is very small and you should make sure you are in it before you go any further with this because she sounds like someone who will make a lot of trouble for you if she gets a chance.  There may also be a law about how promptly you are required to turn over forms once they are requested, there is one about paying employees within two business days if they request it upon quitting or being fired so this may also be one.



I'm almost 100% positive that what we're doing (W2) is correct.  The IRS actually defines independent contractor and she doesn't qualify under their definition and dh found the actual statute that says the labor board doesn't regulate babysitters.  We'll pay the employment taxes out of our taxes this winter.  I believe, if I did the math right, we'll end up paying about $250 and then we can write off $1K in childcare expenses.  And she was paid for her last day ON her last day.  We sent her the certified letter today, so hopefully we don't have any more issues.

 

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't get unemployment if you were FIRED (as opposed to being "let go" or downsized), right?  We have records of her poor performance, days she was late or absent (we suspect she faked an illness at least once since she was so sick she "couldn't get out of the bed to use the toilet" but was at our house to get her check before 8:30am), etc.


Wife to an amazing man love.gif, mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) hbac.gif, and ds3 (9/26/10) hbac.gif. Part time librarianread.gif, full time mommysupermod.gif, occasional chef and maid.

liberal_chick is offline  
#11 of 15 Old 10-31-2011, 04:30 PM
 
babygirlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 876
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

you get unemployment for being fired. BUT you have to be working full time for over a year.

babygirlie is offline  
#12 of 15 Old 10-31-2011, 04:31 PM
 
babygirlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 876
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think you have to make over 5k to pay taxes so unless she has another job.. I think she's just trying to be vinidctive and not doing a very good job at it.. just causing herself more hassle than what it's worth

babygirlie is offline  
#13 of 15 Old 10-31-2011, 07:36 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by liberal_chick View Post



I'm almost 100% positive that what we're doing (W2) is correct.  The IRS actually defines independent contractor and she doesn't qualify under their definition and dh found the actual statute that says the labor board doesn't regulate babysitters.  We'll pay the employment taxes out of our taxes this winter.  I believe, if I did the math right, we'll end up paying about $250 and then we can write off $1K in childcare expenses.  And she was paid for her last day ON her last day.  We sent her the certified letter today, so hopefully we don't have any more issues.

 

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't get unemployment if you were FIRED (as opposed to being "let go" or downsized), right?  We have records of her poor performance, days she was late or absent (we suspect she faked an illness at least once since she was so sick she "couldn't get out of the bed to use the toilet" but was at our house to get her check before 8:30am), etc.


I think the regulation may depend on if they consider her a part-time employee or a babysitter.  I called the IRS to ask about how taxes work if you are working as a sitter for a family in their home and the guy I talked to told me that if I worked in their home they had to do the taxes just like any employer.  This was several years ago and the person answering questions may not have known as much as he could have, but it may also be that consistent work as an adult classifies in a different category than just plain babysitting which tends to be occasional and low paying. 

 

You can actually sometimes get unemployment even if you are fired.  If she files you have a chance to contest it and she has a chance to do a rebuttal argument then they make a final decision.  Having the records should help with that a lot. 

 

One_Girl is online now  
#14 of 15 Old 11-05-2011, 06:48 PM
 
ihugtrees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 1,130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Wow, what a crazy lady. But, if she was on care.com to find your ad, she obviously was looking for another job herself. Glad you got rid of her and hope the severing of ties is over with quickly.


Single mama to S ~ 6/09

ihugtrees is offline  
#15 of 15 Old 11-26-2011, 10:14 AM
 
aeterna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 351
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by liberal_chick View Post

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't get unemployment if you were FIRED (as opposed to being "let go" or downsized), right?  We have records of her poor performance, days she was late or absent (we suspect she faked an illness at least once since she was so sick she "couldn't get out of the bed to use the toilet" but was at our house to get her check before 8:30am), etc.


Quote:

Originally Posted by babygirlie View Post

you get unemployment for being fired. BUT you have to be working full time for over a year.


Unfortunately, these are not necessarily true. (YMMV a little depending on state, but) IIRC, part-time employees receive a percentage of their paycheck just like regular employees; the "1 year" issue is because it is a percentage of your average income from the prior 12 months. (So if you've only been working 6 months, and were unemployed the 6 months prior, they'll take the 6 months' income, average it out over 12 months - essentially halving it - and then pay you a percentage of that.)

 

And no, you can absolutely claim unemployment for being fired. Unless you were fired for maliciously and intentionally causing harm to your employer, you can claim unemployment. Incompetency, dissatisfactory performance, tardiness or irregular attendance (if you just plain stop showing up to work for days in a row and that is the cause of the termination, there is some leeway there)... none of these will prevent an employee from claiming unemployment. 

 

You say you have records of her poor performance but unless you documented discussions with her regarding her poor performance, put her on a performance improvement plan, etc... you cannot demonstrate that she "abandoned" her job (i.e., stopped showing up to work) so it is moot. Odds are you live in a right-to-work state so you don't necessarily need a reason to fire her, but neither will it deter her from collecting unemployment.

 

Sorry. =/


Just a grad student hopelessly in love with her amazing DH and wee baby Eli (12/06/11).

 

1394/2012 in 2012

aeterna is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off