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California nanny tells her side of the story

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The adage goes, "There's three sides to everything, your side, their side and the truth." The California woman who earned the moniker the "nightmare nanny" has now offered her version of events that led up to her employment crisis with the family from Upland. The 64-year-old woman said during interview with Los Angeles media stations KNX 1070 and KTLA that she was being exploited by her employers, forced to work extended days without a break and that the family attempted to feed her dog food. She told one interviewer, "They were the ones that were trying to exploit me as if I was some poor migrant worker from a foreign country that they could just exploit and work 24/7."

The family maintains that she was hired in March and given room and board to supervise the couple’s three children who were 11, 4 and 1. She was also expected to do light housekeeping as part of the arrangement. They say that within weeks of her hire, she stopped working, told them she suffered from chronic pulmonary disease and refused to leave when they fired her. The couple also said that the nanny told them she would file suit for elder abuse and wrongful termination. Because their problems were a civil matter, police referred them to the courts, and the couple initiated the process of eviction, which can be dragged out for months in some cases. The full truth of what went on between the nanny and the family will probably never be known. But their situation illustrates the importance of knowing one’s rights as an employee. Some terminated employees feel that because California is one of the “at will” employment states – meaning employers can fire workers without any reason – that they have no recourse whatsoever. This is not true, as there are many reasons why employees are protected from wrongful termination. But to prove your case, recover damages and get your job back can be difficult to accomplish on your own. This is when an employee may decide to consult with a legal professional to review all the available options.

Source: Reuters, "California so-called 'nightmare nanny' says was exploited by family," July 1, 2014.

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