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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118188
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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We hired a nanny and have a contract that states "Both parties

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We hired a nanny and have a contract that states "Both parties agree to a 4 week notice before job termination unless Nanny is terminated for cause" and "Nanny agrees to a 30 day probationary period during which either party may terminate this employment without penalty." The nanny quit without notice after 1 week worked. Can we withhold her pay and can we sue her for costs incurred for finding a Nanny and lost wages for us during that 4 week period? Just wondering what rights we have.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

I am afraid that the contract clauses you mentioned above actually conflict, since if she has a 30 day probationary period that would be 4 weeks (roughly) and it would not be possible to terminate employment at any time during that period with 4 week notice, since you would exceed the 30 days then.

You cannot withhold her pay that would be a violation of the fair labor standards act, so you have to pay her. While you could claim the 4 week notice period, the contract states either party could terminate without penalty during the 30 day probationary period, do this would be a tough argument to win on based on the way you stated the contract was written. You really are going to need to rewrite that contract I am afraid for the future, because the 30 day probationary clause is going to prevent you from trying to claim she breached the contract because you say it stated either party could leave without penalty in the 30 day probationary period.

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