Is this fair?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Is this fair?
6
Fri, 01-30-2004 - 2:31pm
I just obtained a part time job as a nanny, which consists of a few afternoons a week. The financial agreement was that I have a certain amount of money guaranteed every week (parent gets home early,etc.) For every hour extra that I work, I receive extra money (actually a slightly lower hourly rate than my regular rate). This week is my third week on the job and this is what I've experienced so far: The first week was fine, I worked a few extra hours, got paid for all of them as extra. Second week was a different story: I had worked a few EXTRA hours but then the kids had a "snow day" and I got a call from the parent stating that due to them staying at home with their kids, I will not be needed on that day. When it came down to my pay that week, I've found out that the extra hrs I worked were "substituted" or put in place of the hrs I didn't work on the off day. Bottom line: I came home with the bare minimum that is my set salary for the week.

And finally: this week I worked some overtime again and today I'm being informed that due to the father picking up the kids for the weekend (parents divorced, share custody) straight from school I will not be needed. I haven't picked up my check yet but I have a strong feeling that the scenario from last week (discounting my overtime hrs in place of a day off) will be repeated. Is this a remotely fair treatment in your opinion?

My one friend thinks I'm being completely taken advantage of since I didn't ask for those days off. Even the snow day wasn't something I had any control over, I would still be there if needed. The same friend thinks that I shouldn't even address the issue, just quit.

My thoughts on this are as follows: I have shown full commitment to this job, always being on time and being as accomodating as I can be (leaving my other day job early on couple of occassions, I do get paid a lot more there). I feel hurt that after working late hrs (then having to get up early the next day), I should be appreciated more by getting paid for the entire week plus overtime. One relevant fact: last night I wasn't feeling well and I still offered my services, today when I received the message about not being needed, they said: "Take this time to get better, this will be your sick day". I feel as it is not their place to say that. I've never asked for a sick day. Either way, I'm not getting paid for today and this situation is starting to really upset me. I swallowed my pride last week, what should I do now? I admit, quitting would be a solution, but unless I find something else, I really need this money.

I'm thinking of going over there tommorow and initiating a conversation. What is your opinion?



iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2003
In reply to: kyliebeee
Sat, 01-31-2004 - 1:14am
I'd say you need to sit down and clear up a few things with the parent, maybe get things on paper as to what you can both expect from your working relationship and make sure that it is acceptable to BOTH of you. It sounds like a case where things have been assumed on both sides and maybe open communication would clarify expectations.

Here's my opinion, as a parent, for whatever its worth.....and I could be totally wrong here, but this is my take:

There IS a difference between a "babysitter" and a "day care provider"....and I'm really not sure where "nanny" falls here.

As a "baby sitter", the parent tends to hold the "power", setting the work schedule, and your service is "as needed", not "set" or "guaranteed" and babysitters are usually paid only for actual time worked. It kind of sounds like the parent is viewing your position as a "babysitter".

"Daycare worker" is another story. In my experience, the day care worker tends to have the "power" and sets the rules such as "I will be paid for this many hours per week, whether your child shows up or not" and "The parent will be on time, or lose the slot in the daycare". I guess the difference would be that the babysitter generally has other obligations "school etc" and is babysitting to earn "extra" money, while the "daycare worker" is working to earn a living and therefore needs a dependable income, whether the service is given or not. I think "babysitter" also tend to provide the service in the parent's home (which may also give the parent the power) and the daycare provider offers the service at her own location...and therefore holds the power.

So it sounds like you are both viewing the relationship differently and have different expectations. You have every right to sit down with the parent and ask for clarification. If the parent actually expects to be able to have you "on-demand" but NOT guarantee hours or accept that you need to make a living too, then it would certainly be in your best interest to find that out now.

You should also clarify "overtime". This IS a subject that varies from job to job no matter what the profession. At some places of employment, "overtime" is hours worked after the first 40 per week. So generally, you would only enter "overtime" wages after you have already worked 40 hours in one week. But other employers view "overtime" per day, so any hours after 8 hours/day are overtime. You simply need to come to an agreement with the parent on which is overtime. Sounds like she considers overtime as after 40 hours in one week, while you view overtime as after 8 hours worked in one day. There's no right or wrong, you just need to agree before hand as to what is overtime.

You also have the right to say no to "sick day" when the kids go to the other parent. She does NOT have the right to claim sick days for you (unless you are REALLY sick and doesn't want you exposing her children....in which case she should have sent you home the day you were sick...not the day AFTER! Don't let her use that as an excuse!)



I would say communication is the answer here. And if she responds defensively, gets angry, or acts otherwise unreasonably, then maybe she is trying to take advantage and knows she's been called on it. If she's reasonable and willing to talk and negotiate, or simply states the rules and what she expects, then you have the right to negotiate, or take it or leave it, but at least you'll know where you stand. Good luck to you, and I hope you can work everything out!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: kyliebeee
Tue, 02-03-2004 - 11:37am
I agree with this! Come up with a fair deal for both of you and put it in writing! Then you will never have to question the week's pay again!
*Rebecca*

Rebecca
Loving wife to David (3-2

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
In reply to: kyliebeee
Wed, 02-04-2004 - 9:10am


Thank you, Everyone but I'm quiting instead. I brought up the issue on Monday and was shocked with an unpleasant response of "Well, I don't believe offsetting the overtime with a day off (see my original post)is unfair so I am not changing anything" so I have decided that it's better that I leave, although I haven't given a notice yet (need to find a job first, though). Do you think I owe her a notice? Overall, it's been a chilly experience. And you are right, from now on I need everything in writing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
In reply to: kyliebeee
Thu, 02-05-2004 - 2:19pm
As a former nanny I must say that you should be paid for what you work. I was a full time nanny and got paid a salary. However I think as with any part time job you should get paid for what you work. If you don't work for what ever reason you don't get paid. I work a part-time job and if they tell me they don't need me. I don't get paid even though it wasn't my dicision to not work. Also think about the sick day. That parent probably told the other parent about your sickness and they didn't want their child to get what you had. Granted they should have told you that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
In reply to: kyliebeee
Fri, 02-06-2004 - 12:35am


Here's a thought: imagine a company giving you a day off without pay, just because they didn't need you that day. Wouldn't you be pissed? Your utility bill wouldn't get paid.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
In reply to: kyliebeee
Fri, 02-06-2004 - 11:01am
"Here's a thought: imagine a company giving you a day off without pay, just because they didn't need you that day. Wouldn't you be pissed? Your utility bill wouldn't get paid."

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That is exactly what happens at my part time job. That is why it is a part time job. Last year they were trying to cut cost and laid off all of the part time staff. Even though I could have really used that money for the holidays. I didn't get paid or anything. They however decide in January that they needed some parttime help, so I am back on the schedule. They could at any given day tell me that they don't need me and I would not get paid or have any recourse on that matter.

I am sorry that you are in financial straights. I have been there and know what it is like to constantly worry. I hope that you find something that is more accomadating to your situation. Best wishes.