Notice of Termination and the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

Have You Always Been Given at Least 21-Days Notice or Severance Pay When Leaving a Nanny Job?

We have been discussing the two views of the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (CDWBR) — trying to explain why some oppose it and why some support it.

This legislation requires at least 21-days advance notice before termination, or severance pay in lieu of 21-days notice.

PRO: Many domestic workers live-in the home where they work. There is no other worker in any other profession that lives permanently at their job. When live-ins are fired, they are also being evicted. Whether nannies are fired by their employer or whether they decide to leave on their own, nannies are often mistreated when leaving their jobs. Reports are that nannies are often terminated arbitrarily, capriciously, and with no notice and without concern for the welfare of the nanny or the resulting trauma on the charges. Severance pay is expected throughout all industries. It is a sad state of affairs that this common benefit must be legislated for nannies and other domestic workers. This law does not apply to instances of cause (if a worker ever breaks a law they should be fired immediately). But, when domestics are fired at the whim of the parent, the live-in employee is often not only losing their job, but also their housing.

CON: Those who hire domestics and in-home caregivers have the fiduciary and moral responsibility to terminate anyone they choose at will. These decisions must be left to the discretion and judgment of the employer (parent) and not subject to due process protections.

Have you always been given at least 21-days notice or severance pay when leaving a job?


  1. I've always had it written in my work agreement 30-days notice for both parties and only once did both parties honor that agreement. I'm ashamed but I did walk out on a job. I was let go on the spot once after I gave notice. Honestly it would be too much work to sue or argue for the money they owed me. They were hurt I was leaving so after I gave notice they didn't want me to come back which was a horrible horrilbe thing for the kids and myself and my financial situation. I acted like a professional the entire time so it was a blow. The rest of the jobs we pretty much kept it at a month.

  2. I know my first message is confusing but I meant to say only once did we make it actually to 30 days notice, but most TRIED to make it 30 days but we usually mutually did less than that.

  3. Live in nannies are really stuck. I moved all the way from TX to MA and got kicked out. I had to sleep on a friend's couch and then my mom drove out to get me. Now I only do live out jobs and we give each other 30 days notice. But I have 40 days notice once and they fired me once they found someone else to replace me. They said it was too hard on the kids for me to say, but the mom was just mad. It's impossible for live ins to argue, negotiate, speak up in fear of losing the job.

  4. The hardest part for me is staying professional as you wait to leave. I gave 30 days notice as contract says once and that month was like a living hell as the parents were angry with me. I stayed professional working hard to the end for a good referral. But never had to use them for referral. The relationship with family changes for the worst when you choose to leave for any reason but kids grow up and no longer need you.

  5. I've been layed off from two nanny jobs. The first the parents told me on a Friday night they would not need my anymore- after more than 2 years with them. I was in shock- but we did not have a work agreement (first nanny job). They were really great- and gave me 7 weeks seveance pay and payed my health insurance for another month too. But it was rough- because I could not mentally prepare- and it was hard to get over not seeing my charge every day. But I guess they did the best they could.- and we are still friendly today.At my next nanny job I made it a point to let the family know I needed at least 3 weeks notice so I could mentally prepare- and we put everything in a nanny work agreement. After 5 years they no longer needed me and gave me 5 weeks notice.- However – NO severance pay.

  6. Sadly legislation can't demand respect but at least it can force proper treatment.

  7. Once I was a nanny to this woman who I heard her complaining about me on the phone to a friend. She told her friend she was going to fire me because sometimes when I leave her apartment at the end of the night I take a bottle of Fiji water. Up until then she would always offer it to me so I thought it was ok. Needless to say the next day she asked me not to come back. No notice. I have bills to pay! What happened to asking me not to do something as a warning? Obviously I would have brought in my own water bottles had I known this was an issue.

  8. I worried over needing to leave a terrible nanny job for a better job because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I gave them 40 days notice and 9 days later they told me they hired someone else and if I come back it will confuse the kids. Then, a few weeks later the mom wanted to go out one night didn't have a sitter and asked me to come in?!!! So much for confusing the kids!! I went that night because I needed the money as I waited for my new job to start! I will never, ever give more than required notice ever again after that terrible experience.

  9. R U fucking kidding me? Now I got a letter from the International Nanny Association (with some grammatical errors) urging members to send letters for not being in support of this bill. Why are nannies getting this letter? SO OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE DOMESTICS YOU ARE PLACING. FIND ME A JOB FOR THAT MONEY IN CA AND I'LL JOIN YOUR CAMPAIGN. But we can't find jobs in CA for that anymore! You serious?

  10. Anon-I personally am beyond disgusted with INA for taking this stance. How dare they deny the rights of others when they've got theirs. This is beyond the pale. I read the letter. No one, NO ONE enforces the overtime law. Not an agency, not any of those so called domestic payroll or domestic legal services. They give us convoluted comments regarding the ridiculous $5 an hour jobs that get posted as well. As long as they get theirs, they don't care about anyone else.

  11. The INA and APNA have publically opposed this bill. What bothers me is that the nanny industry organizations aren't allowing room for it's liberal members to be heard. I think at least both sides of the issue should be discussed and shared. Obviously many people oppose the bill but what about your members that are proponents? I don't appreciate these groups assuming for their members thatthey all agree with those who support this Republican stance.

  12. I understand what is being said in this article about parents wanting to have full domian on who is in their home at any time. But regulation would simply protect all the hundreds of legal American nannies that lose their jobs on a "whim" of the parent. Absoultely get the person out of your home, but give them enough notice to re-establish themselves.

  13. Michelle-we need to create a group that caters to ALL Domestics. Looking at the groups that exist you have INA/APNA that cater to a segment and then you have Domestic Workers United which support a different segment. Why isn't there one uniting body to support us all?In the past I could argue for the opposition of this bill. I completely understand their stance. What is different is reality. If the existing laws, rules, and regulations were enacted, we would not need more oversight. We simply not equal to those working in other jobs. I see many of my colleagues leave this business because they want the rights that exist in other career choices. We only damper this profession if we don't make changes now that will benefit not only us, but future caregivers.

  14. This is all so upsetting……

  15. Yes, this is one of the major topics unique to the domestic worker! Of course live-ins require time to find a place to live!

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