It may be too late for Alanis Morissette, but not for you. Entering into a contractual agreement, by its very definition, requires a contract; whether it is verbal or written it should not end there. A reasonable person needs to make it their responsibility to document agreements, disagreements or otherwise, as it pertains to employment. In the beginning, of a relationship, both parties are on their best behaviour thus any unscrupulous behaviours are unimaginable.
Bianca Cambeiro, former nanny, is suing Canadian singer and songwriter Alanis Morissette and her husband Mario Treadway for allegedly “overworking” Cambeiro. $30,000.00 is for alleged overtime and $100,000.00 is for emotional distress. It may be a case of angry employee plotting revenge or Morissette and her husband actually “overworked” Cambeiro. The side that comes out on top will be the side with documentation to prove their position.
In the court documents published by Huffington Post it states that Cambeiro’s expected shift was 9:00 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. three or four days a week. Cambeiro worked from August 2011 to March 2013 and during that time she claims she was not compensated for overtime, she did not receive bathroom breaks and she was instructed to remain in the bedroom unless Treadway or Morissette were present. The former nanny also states that she was made to work seven days a week and declares other physical, mental and emotional distress. Why she stayed for 18 months under such conditions has many people wondering about the validity of the former nanny’s allegations.
Ours is not to decide guilt or innocence but to recognize the lesson to be learned. Whether or not this particular situation could have been avoided depends primarily on who is telling the truth. If Cambeiro has time sheets signed and dated by Morissette, affidavits from other employees of the couple and financial records that support her claim than Morissette may have to pay out. Conversely, if Morissette has a contract that clearly outlines working conditions in a detailed job description signed and dated by Cambeiro than Cambeiro loses.
When you begin a job it is important to understand what is expected of you, thus it is your responsibility to ensure those expectations are written down, signed and dated. Whenever your duties are outside of the agreed upon parameters, document it. By keeping a journal, although time consuming, you have a record of events. Have them witnessed to solidify, if need be, your position. No one likes to think people are any less than forthcoming; however, it is better to have proof of being treated respectfully than to have nothing for being mistreated.