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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18902
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I am a nanny for a family an signed a contract that states

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I am a nanny for a family an signed a contract that states the following,

Nanny is an at will employee and may choose to work for the Family for as little or as long as Nanny desires. Likewise, the Family may continue the Nannys employment for as little or as long as they wish. However, both parties agree to provide four weeks notice of intent to terminate this agreement (or pay in lieu of such notice), except when such termination is for cause.

Immediate termination without any notice is possible on the following grounds:

- Allowing the child(ren)s safety to be compromised
- Inconsistent or non performance of agreed upon job responsibilities
- Dishonesty or lying to Family
- Stealing
- Misuse of Family automobile
- Breach of confidentiality clause
- Persistent tardiness of more than 15 minutes without valid reason
- Unapproved guests
- Smoking or consumption of alcohol while on duty
- Illegal drug use
- Failure of the Family to remit payment for more than 1 month
- Fear of harm or threat by either party due to actions of the other party "

The job has been straining on my mental health to the point of ER visits for anxiety and chest pains as well as physical side affects including nausea. The family also has a dog who bites me 1-2 times a day while I am working. I have mentioned this to the family and they have not done anything to change the animals behavior. I would like to submit a written letter of immediate termination of my employment with the family but am worried that the family will sue me if I do since the contract states that I must provide four weeks notice. Can they sue me and if so what would the worst case scenario be?
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

According to the contract, if either your or them terminate the contract without 4 weeks of notice, there must be pay in lieu of that.

Based solely on the contract language, they would only be able to sue you for 4 weeks of your pay.

Now, you can attempt to claim that you are terminating your employment "for cause" based on the behavior of the employer which is creating in you a fear of harm (the dog). You have warned them about the issue and they have not resolved it. Based on that, you can claim the ability to immediately resigned.

Worst case scenario is that they sue you anyway, and the court doesn't believe your position, forcing you to pay them for 4 weeks of your salary.
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