How’s that for a tongue twister headline? I had fun with that. On to a more serious topic, celebrity actor Rob Lowe has found himself in hot water in the headlines recently for a babysitter crisis involving confidentiality. For anyone, having a babysitter betray a confidence would be a crisis, and given Lowe’s status, it could be particularly damaging. The news brings up a great point for discussion: Should your sitter sign a confidentiality agreement?
With today’s fast-paced technology and social networking revolution, it’s fairly easy to get the word out on practically anything, without any regard for the truth. Let’s hope this doesn’t threaten those who can’t speak for themselves – our children! An article which has since expired on MainStreet.com, brings up some serious topics for consideration, along with some great resources for protecting yourself.
I quote from MainStreet:
Lowe’s complaint was filed in a Los Angeles Superior Court on April 7, and asks for at least $1 million in damages. According to the complaint, Boyce violated a confidentiality agreement she made with the Lowe family. She is also charged with defamation and infliction of emotional distress on Lowe, his wife and their two sons during her employment for most of 2007 (she quit in November).
And, some valuable advice is offered, including this highlight:
Families who employ nannies often involve them in the more intimate parts of their lives. Sometimes a nanny is privy to or overhears information that the family wants to keep private. Also, many company executives take important work documents home with them, and they don’t want to worry about who sees them. The same goes for business related phone calls and emails. For these reasons, experts agree that regular people, not just celebrities or NYSE CEOs, should have an employee contract and a confidentiality agreement with their nanny.
I do believe there’s lots you can and should do to document your relationship with your nanny, especially when young children are involved. However, I don’t think you can treat a nanny like a corporate client – there may be language or cultural barriers in place, and you need to come up with a communication style that works for the relationship.
Story update – More is surfacing on this “news,” including a recent story released on The Associated Press where the ex-Nanny is alleging sexual abuse but claims she endured this because she needed the money. Lowe denies the allegations. What a mess – truth or not, this creates major migraines for the Lowe family. Botton line – the celebrity is finding himself in a national family crisis.
What have you put in place to manage your relationship with your nanny? Do you think it’s better to have verbal agreements or written confirmation?
Photo printed courtesy of MainStreet.com.