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My Nanny Job Ended, Now What?

Your relationship with your nanny family is strained and when they come home on Friday they tell you they no longer need your services. Things are going well, but your nanny family gives you two weeks’ notice that they have decided to put their 4 yr old into preschool. You can’t help but think to yourself: my job is over so what do I do now? Whether it is on good terms or bad, there are things a nanny should consider when a job ends.

  1. Final Nanny Paycheck

Whether you are happy, sad, or just shocked, you need to address your final payroll. The family must pay you for all unpaid hours up until the date of separation. State law dictates how quickly a family must pay their nanny upon separation, and it is often a shorter time window when you are let go then if you have decided to leave.  Many states also require that unused earned vacation or PTO must also be paid out. NOTE: It is NEVER legal for the employer to withhold the final paycheck, whether family property has been returned or not.

  1. Return of Family Property

Nannies often have keys to the family’s house, car seats or strollers, and quite possibly a debit or credit card provided for family purchases. These are the family’s property, and must be returned.  When the job ends, regardless of the reason, you need to arrange to return these items without delay.

  1. Who Will Tell the Children

It is always the parents’ responsibility to tell the children that the nanny will be leaving. Depending on the situation, the parents may allow the nanny to say goodbye or to write the children a letter. If a family does not let the nanny say goodbye, the nanny must remember that this is their decision to make, and respect their decision. Trust that the children know that you care for them, and nothing will change that.

  1. Letter of Reference

It isn’t always an easy conversation to have, but you need to determine if this family is willing to serve as a good reference. Even if a family lets you go, they may be willing to provide a letter of reference. The family may be willing to clarify that they let you go due to no fault of your own, such as a child moving on to school, or a change in family structure.

  1. Security

Today many of us have pass codes and apps that will open locked homes, garages, or personal information on a website. Regardless of whether a family does, or does not, change their pass codes, you must not attempt to use them. These codes were tools of employment owned by your employer, and since you are no longer employed by the family, these are no longer tools you may use.

  1. Nanny Unemployment Claim

Some nannies will file for unemployment after they quit. Quitting a job is not a valid reason to receive unemployment benefits unless the nanny can show good cause or constructive discharge. If you were let go, you may be able to receive unemployment benefits, depending on the reason. Check with your state unemployment office to determine your eligibility.