Can I Break A Nanny Contract? MY EMPLOYER says i'm not free to go until they say so

Asked 6 months ago - New York, NY

I have been with a family over an year. I have to remind them to pay me every weds they tell me ok good night when I have to say please pay me they always do but, I must remind them also I asked to be paid on the books they don't want to. I ask for employment verification they say no also when the get home either of the lets me leave until my time is up about 8 pm in that contract they said they will pay for gas it never happened. I had a talk with them about my concerns and they said its nothing they will improve and I cant leave cause im under contract that I asked for in which I did how ever I did ask for the time of my employment needed there and they didn't add it in they only wrote down the duties pay rate they didn't include how much notice is to be given or length of employment and

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . There are no endentured servants in the United States so they can not force you to stay. You need to read your contract to see if you face any penalties for leaving before the contract is up.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for... more
  2. Randy Jay Harvey

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . Even with an employment contract the thirteenth amendment to the constitution has been interpreted to deny employers the right to compel you to stay in a position. This is the amendment that prohibits slavery. My colleagues have raised important issues regarding your status as a citizen, if you are not being paid properly you should file a complaint with the labor department or contact an employment attorney for advice.
    Best of luck!

    NO LEGAL ADVICE GIVEN. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as... more
  3. B. Shamus O'Donniley

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . One important question is your legal status for immigration purposes. Putting the immigration issue aside, all employment is "at will" unless there is a contractual agreement otherwise. Typically, only very highly paid executive have provisions for golden parachutes, etc.
    Your contract cannot alter legal obligations of an employer to an employee.
    Your employer is clearly acting illegally by not putting you "on the books". You may also have a fair labor standards act claim here. I strongly suggest you meet with an attorney as soon as possible.

  4. Thomas Alan Holman

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . Without reviewing the contract it is difficult to give you useful advice. I recommend that you seek a private consultation with an employment lawyer. Many of us are willing to give free initial consultations. Good luck.

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  5. David Dean Franklin Oberg

    Contributor Level 4

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    Answered . You cannot be required to maintain employment. It sounds from the information that you have given that your employer is acting illegally, and that you have a potential lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act. I recommend that you speak with an employment attorney in your area to determine your rights. If you cannot afford to speak with an attorney, I suggest that you contact Legal Aid; I suspect they would take your case.

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