Monday Problem: I don’t get over-time.



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Dear Nanny X

I have a few issues..

#1 being the mother is often late coming home.. I tried bringing this up  
with her and she seemed very stressed about the situation. She told me I  
needed to be okay with her being late because she's already stressed enough  
about being home on time as is. I felt bad for bringing it up but it still  
bothers me.. In the contract it states what time she would be home at the  
latest & she is often over that time..

#2 This brings me to another issue - they don't pay me overtime. You just  
assume you are being paid overtime over 40 hours, but that is not the case.  
I was not aware of this either. They take taxes out but do not pay me  
overtime? It does not say this in the contract either!

#3 they kind of just told me to take care of their elderly grandma who  
needs a lot of help doing things/cannot do things on her own. I was never  
compensated or even truly appreciated for the extra work.. This is also not  
in my job description or my contract:(

#4 if I need to quit they say in the contract to give a four weeks notice  
as they will.. But it also says some behaviors are non-negotiable and call  
for immediate dismissal. I think going outside the contract is one of those  
behaviors.. What do you think?

Thank you


Dear Nanny,
if you are on the books have a contract and you don’t get paid overtime you have an extremely good case to sue. I understand that most nannies don’t want to bring a law-suit. But it does put the fear of G*d into employers.
First of all, are you logging your over-time? Can you prove how much a week they owe you? Can you get evidence of the extra hours you are forced to work because your employer doesn’t want to ‘stress out’ about being late? Start tracking what’s what. Use an excel sheet or Google doc. After a month present the paperwork and give your employer a verbal warning. Tell her that unless you are fairly compensated for over-time that you will perceive this as a breach of contract and that you will quit immediately. Once you have quit (if you are forced to) that’s when you go and speak to a lawyer.
Second, a nanny isn’t a care-worker for the elderly. While some of the skill-sets are similar the professionals who care for children and the elderly have chosen their career paths for a reason. No … this is not in your contract and yes … it is a breach that you can quit over.
Have a frank chat with your boss and bring these two points up. If she does not change her behavior I would quit immediately and bring a small claims suit against her including the earnings you will lose while looking for another job.
Most employers will arrange to settle with you out of court to avoid bad publicity and you may find this employer offers you the over-time and better working conditions. I would negotiate at that point for a new contract with specific instructions on pay, over-time and other forms of compensation.
At any rate you will have taken a stand against domestic exploitation and that will only make you a stronger, better nanny.


Nanny X