I'm letting a household employee go, have I done anything wrong?
August 26, 2013 2:01 PM Subscribe
I am letting my nanny go for a variety of reasons, and feel both bad and awkward about it, but still think it was the right choice for my own family, and would like to know if I handled this appropriately.
posted by tylerkaraszewski to Human Relations (43 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I hired a nanny last December to watch my daughter full-time. It was a decision made under duress in a sense - my wife was diagnosed with cancer and very ill and undergoing treatment at the time and was realistically expected to live for possibly 2-3 years. As things turned out, she died much more quickly than that, In early February. When I hired the nanny, my daughter was 15 months old and I did verbally tell the nanny I expected I'd need her for two to three years, but I wrote up and we mutually signed a contract that said either of us could terminate employment at any time, and if I did so, I would give 30 days notice, as the nanny would be living in my home and she'd need time to move.
Well, the nanny's always been a good caretaker to my daughter, so I have no major complaints. She's been sort of an average worker in some senses, wanting to change her hours to start later in the morning just because she wants to sleep in, or wanting more of a gas allowance to drive my daughter all over the place, to excess in my opinion (if I leave her to her own devices, she averages about 55 miles a day of driving). I don't mean to harp on her here, but there are a variety of minor things that I just don't want to deal with, which mostly add up to me not wanting to have to manage an employee, really.
If you combine these things with the fact that my daughter is two now and I think more ready to spend more time with other kids, and nannies are ridiculously expensive, and honestly, I don't really want a roommate at this point in my life, it seems a reasonable decision to change my daughter's care arrangement. I decided to put her in day care/preschool full-time (the place she'll be going sort of straddles a line between these two things). So, I gave the nanny her notice on August 19th. Her last day of work with be September 18th. I gave her through the Weekend of Sept 21-22 to move out. On her last day she'll receive her last week's pay, plus pay for five untaken vacation days as per our employment agreement, plus $1000 in severance which I offered her (which was not part of our employment agreement).
Regardless, she did not take this well. She felt betrayed because I told her when I hired her that I expected to need her two to three years. She made (IMO, out-of-line) comments about how this would have detrimental effects on my daughter. She said a lot of things that were basically her venting her frustration that I felt had varying levels of relevancy. I genuinely felt bad about giving her this news, but did feel I was within my rights to give it. But now I feel like the next month at my own home will be awkward. Things seem civil now in week two, but I sort of just want her to be gone so I can have my home back and move on. I do not think she's a bad person or a bad caretaker or anything, and I wish her the best in the future, but the fallout from my decision has soured things. Still, unless something becomes horrific, I'll let her work out the rest of her scheduled time.
Do you think I handled this inappropriately? Should I have done something differently, or was this an invariably difficult situation and there was nothing I could do?