10 Concerns About a Nanny Caught Drinking and Driving
November 10, 2011 | in Background Check
Whether you’re in the hiring process and found an old DUI conviction on your favorite candidates record or weighing your options due to the recent arrest of your current nanny, here are some of the things that you should consider when faced with this dilemma.
- Youthful Mistake or Something More Serious – The background check is usually the final step in the hiring process, so finding a blemish on the record of a candidate that you love can be rattling. A nanny who’s forthcoming about a years-old conviction without any other signs of criminal behavior may still be a great fit for your family, so it might be prudent to give her the benefit of the doubt.
- Loss of Driver’s License – A DUI conviction almost always means at least the temporary suspension of the offender’s driver’s license. If you’re considering a second chance for a current nanny with a recent arrest, keep in mind that the repercussions from the loss of license alone may prevent her from fulfilling job responsibilities. Even if running errands or ferrying the children to and from activities isn’t part of her job description, a live-out nanny may have trouble finding reliable transportation while her license is suspended.
- May Indicate Poor Judgment – DUI laws across the United States are getting tougher all the time, making it easy for a small slip to cause a lifetime of difficulty. One factor to consider when making your decision is the severity of the situation; just barely over the limit can be an innocent mistake in calculation, while a high level of alcohol in the system is usually a sign of very poor judgment. This lack of judgment can spill over into other areas, leaving the decision making skills of your nanny in question.
- Possible Sign of Substance Abuse Problems – While certainly not always the case, a DUI arrest can be one of the signs of a possible substance abuse problem. It’s important to take all factors into account when evaluating the situation, but any other indications of addiction or abuse problems should be a cause for grave concern.
- Sentence Interfering With Work Responsibilities – Jail time isn’t always required for first offense DUI cases, but some drug and alcohol counseling or community service may be part of the sentencing. If so, the scheduling of these events may be in opposition to the schedule previously agreed upon.
- Car Insurance Rates – Most standard nanny agreements include the use of a family vehicle for work-related travel. If you’re considering a candidate with a previous conviction, adding her as an approved driver on your insurance policy may cause a hike in the rates. If your budget is going to be stretched to accommodate her wages, this increase in expenses may be a concern as well.
- Can Be Indicative of Larger Issues – An extra glass of wine with dinner on a night off can be chalked up to an honest mistake, but a episode of belligerent drunkenness that culminates with a night in jail might be an indication that your nanny is under too much stress and lacks the ability to cope with it in a safe and healthy manner.
- Increased Financial Burden – The fines and attorney fees for a DUI case can add up to thousands of dollars. A conviction may place your nanny in a tight financial spot, causing her to need a second job or other work to make ends meet. Again, the repercussions of her poor choice can be far reaching, affecting your schedule as well as her own.
- Damaged Trust – Understandably, your trust in a nanny who is convicted of a crime may be damaged, sometimes irreparably. Before making a decision, it’s important to be certain about your ability to move on from the situation. If you aren’t sure that you can, keeping her on the payroll (or hiring her in the first place) may be the cause of stress for both of you later.
- Setting a Poor Example – Children, especially those who aren’t yet in school, spend the bulk of their day with the nanny. If your nanny is arrested while she’s working for you and the children are old enough to understand the situation, there should be some concern about the example that’s being set for them. If you choose to continue her employment, it may offer the opportunity to explain the importance of forgiveness and second chances. Still, it should be stressed to them that the choice to drink and drive was a terrible one, and that your nanny regrets it very much.
While firing (or passing on) a great nanny can be devastating, you may find that your concerns are simply too great. Remember that choosing the person who looks after your children is one of the most important choices you will ever make, and that it’s acceptable to err on the side of cautiousness.← 5 Best Ways to Make Sure Your Nanny is Not a Registered Sex Offender | 10 Justifications for Your Nanny Having a Criminal Record →
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