Happy Sunday to all Aging care friends. I have a situation, that I have noticed I am doing, and I would like some advice.

I have been a caregiver for my mother and father for 2 years, 10 years ago, they both are still living, but are now in an assisted living facility, for several reasons.

They lived with me. Full time, non paid, but more love and such a great way for me to love my parents

I have always been torn with the people that cannot afford caregiving, so I give to them, but I have been caring for a young boy, picking him up from school, and the mother said (2 hours), however, I have noticed the mother is not coming home in two hours 3:00 - 5:00. She has of recent been coming home at 6:00, 6:30, 7:00.
This has made it very hard, I have told her every time, NOTE: I have been working for her for years, and work from August to June, this is the last week.

Please, besides reprimanding me, as she is not a person that needs volunteer help, they live in a home that is far too big, and every time I am there, another toy for the adults or children appear. I am not rich by any means, but I have compassion and truly care about people. This gets tricky, so in order for me to avoid this again, i need your help. A written contract, that will not allow this.
I have a contract, but it is something I guess that she feels she can ignore, because she is a long term client yes, but never has treated me this way. I would understand it if there were true financial issues but there are NONE.

Another women in the same neighborhood met with me, and we set a price based on the number of hours I work there, she has cut the hours in have, and decided on her own to pay me $5.00 per hour less, I said this was unacceptable, and have not cashed her checks.

Please do not be rough with the words, I know I am a person that would give my life to others, because I believe the world we live in is very selfish. I live a very modest life, but I took care of myself, paid my house off early, because I was taught at a very early age, that "no one will take care of you, you need to take care of yourself". Although to me that is a statement that I really do not like or agree with, I will never understand why in America, at least where I live pacific Northwest, parents would not think of coming in and helping their daughter with a newborn, but in other countries it is done all the time. Yet, when my parents needed me, without question I was there, I have two other sisters that could not be bothered. It did not bother me about their opinion, I know what I want to do, and I know that my compassionate nature at times, takes over and I am financially in a good spot, but no where near the word rich, middle class, because of me, I have been the one that has created all of that.

So, please if I could as you to assist me with a contract, how do you write it up.
How do you deal with clients that are going to consistently challenge the money side, when you really love the job. I mean really love the job.
The reason I say that, is there are many on here, like myself, that have been in great paying jobs, but the people were less than ideal to work for, very mean, unreasonable, the family was or is very dysfunctional. So there is always something, when you are starting a new situation.
With the above situation, it was and is a great job, although my rate was cut in half by what she did, and I talked to her every time she would do this. Previous years, she was perfect, and gave me a bonus at the end. I do not ever expect bonuses. but that is a way to show you that you were appreciated.

It got to the point where she knew my heart would not leave for her son, and to me shame on her for that, and if I was really in it for the money, i would have left, however, I feel as if I have made a very poor impression, or a very good impression. Shame on me for not leaving? Or is that true? Obviously, I love the job, I can afford it, but she needs to be honest with me. How can I get her to be honest?

I know she will be calling me for next year, but I cannot do what has been going on for 8 plus weeks.

Any thoughts, and if this does not make sense, it is because as you can tell, I have a very emotional side to this, because I really do say to you I want to help people.

I want to help many people that actually cannot in any way shape or form afford it.

I do ask them if they are in that position, if I could see any document that shows me the amount they make in a month or year.

People have written glorious reviews about me, and I have been doing this for 10 years, and never have had this type of issue until the last three month's. (issue with the hours, and people taking advantage of not showing up).

The woman I have been talking about, I have worked for for 5 school years, or day care years, so it is very odd, the behavior she is showing.

She has referred me to another family, and it is obvious that she has told her something, as when I stated the rate and gave her a contract, she is basically ignoring it, and paying me what she wants.

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Yes I pay ALL taxes, and I have figured a way out of this. I tell them that if I am going to work for them for 6 hours and they are going to only pay me for 2 which has been their norm, then I must ask for 4 hours in advanced. I know that is not the normal way, but otherwise, I am waiting weeks if not months, and it is not worth it.

So, with that being said, they paid me the entire 6 hours in a check and put in on the refrigerator. When I was done, they said thank you. I have realized, if I am up front and honest and not afraid to present the truth, we all need to make a living, then they understand.
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The fee for not going to an agency is $20.00 - $25.00 and I pay taxes on all of the monies I make, if I went to an agency, my salary would be $11.00 with taxes taken out. A double edge sword.
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If I need to find an attorney I am not going to be in this business. I have enough money to live. I have an absolute gem of a job from 9:00am to 12:00pm. I make more money from that 3 hours, than I do the next 8 hours of the day, and yes I get home at 8:30 that is 12 hours. I make 1/2 of what I do in the three hours so obviously, I need to balance out, and the issue is I have one client from 9:00 - 3 that pays me very generously, and the other ones are 2 hours here 1 hour there, etc. so I am revamping all of that starting today. Life will go on.
Thank you all
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By the way, in our local area, the late fee is $15.00 per minute, Washington State, no joke, I pick up two girls at day care's and that is what the late fee is./
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Thank you for your advice.
I will mention. I do have a contract, it is on that I drafted, as guidelines, as I do not do the type of work, where I believe I would every go to court. That is just me.
for 10 years I have been successful with this, and yes I take my own taxes out, and they provide 1099's. I have one that I am the employee, which is the real way to do it, but here where I live, they will not do it that way, they will not hire.
The issue with going to an agency is the pay is cut if half and more. This is the hassle I get for the wage, but I am a good person with the business side, it is just the past month with the child, and I realize that now that she realizes I do not have a commitment at the other end, she is taking advantage of that. so, yes, I have thought of many things, like at 5:00 just sit there and wait for her, and start doing my personal work, etc. but yes the woman that is new, is very assertive, VERY assertive, and has just had her second baby and I am not sure. I just wanted advice, and all of you have not been unfair. I asked, I get what I ask for. Thank you much.
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I understand how you must be attached with this young boy and it would probably be very hard to say no I will not care of him anymore. But reality is and "by no way do I mean to be hateful" would be 1st it will cost you money to get this contract that you have clients to fill out like in central Arkansas attorney fees are cheapest I've found is $200.00 an hour. 2nd-- call the ladies "bluff" tell her she will have to come and get him at a certain time or ask what time you need to bring him to either her place of employment or home. And at that time she sat. Take him there. And 3rd, it maybe easy there, but I could find no pro bono in Arkansas. And for the client that just gave you less money, get rid of her before u become attached. If she had someone before to take care of her child, she can find someone else. Do not let these people take advantage of you. What if you did half your job
of taking care of their kids? I'm sure they would have you put in jail. Then you would need that money. A contract iis as good as what you decide it is. If you want it stopped, you will have to be the one to decide what happens next. You could get an attorney to write them a letter. But this would cost you also. Good Luck.
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Okay, the only point of having a contract is that you can enforce it in court. If you're not willing to do that, there's no point in having a contract to begin with. There's really no way to make sure someone adheres to the terms of a contract other than by legal actions. And a verbal contract is useless. Basically, if you don't want to work for people who don't adhere to the terms of their agreements, your only choice is to not work for them. There's no way to make people more honorable or conscientious or to value your service more than they apparently do. Sorry, just telling you the facts. Good luck.
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My advice to you would be to stop providing caregiving to the folks in the neighborhood and go to your local agency for the aged population (if you are over 65) and see if they have a list of jobs for seniors. Many agencies list these, and you could get a job as a "grandma" at a local elementary, where you visit a few classrooms in an elementary school and help the kids with their lunches, read to them, and provide general classroom help, while still getting a paycheck. You would still be providing care to others, but the responsibility for the "contract", payroll taxes etc would no longer be your problem. And you wouldn't have to deal with people taking advantage of you, because you wouldn't be setting the terms - those are all set by the school.
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Think of it this way, if said child was in a professional day care center after school, some places charge $1 for every minute the parent is late in picking up the child. Maybe you can do something like that but use a smaller monetary amount.

You could do a written contract saying you will work Monday-Friday from 3p to 5p from when school starts in August and ends in June. For every minute [or every ten minutes, or every half hour] the client is late in picking up the child [or returning home] there will be an added charge of $ .___. Go to Google and type in "home daycare contract samples"
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It seems as though you want to care for people but either (a) are or aren’t getting their concurrence on critical issues and/or (2) enforcing the terms of the contract(s) is becoming problematic with people, who it seems, may be taking advantage of your soft and compassionate nature. Is this the gist of your concerns?

So I look at it this way: you're working not only because you enjoy what you do but because you need to earn a living. Put aside the softness in your heart for a second, and think of the clients as employers such as corporations, small businesses, etc. - not just a person who you feel needs help.

If you worked for a corporate employer that pulled these stunts, would you continue working there? Would you go to the department manager and/or HR and discuss the issue. If they continued the maltreatment, would you go elsewhere? Would you continue working there if the terms of employment were breached?

I think I would standardize a contract as well as a summary of your terms and conditions. If there's a breach, such as the $5/ unauthorized pay cut, have an immediate discussion with the client. If he/she refuses to pay, reiterate your terms, that she has breached the contract and you can't continue working for her. Anyone who pulls a stunt like that is NOT someone you should want to work for.

You may have to do some contract research online or even consult with an employment law attorney, or pro bono attorney if you can't afford to pay.

I would also include penalty clauses as well as what are known as termination for cause and termination w/o cause provisions. A termination for cause provision would be paying less, extending hours without paying for them or without prior notice, and the other egregious things these people have been doing.

If someone cuts your wage by $5, the contract would immediately be terminated and you would have no further obligation - that's a critical point. You could also add that such breaches would be construed as grounds for suit (even if you don't want to sue), and that the client assents to such a suit for breach of contract - that shows you mean business.

You could also add an arbitration clause, that grievances would be handled by the American Arbitration Assn. Make it mandatory. These people might see then that you mean business.

Drafting a contract though is an issue for someone with legal experience. You’ll get good suggestions here, but to get an air tight contract you’ll need more than our suggestions. If this is your living, it would pay to get legal advice.

If you let those who are taking advantage of you continue, you're essentially assenting and enabling their behavior. They'll continue, consider you a patsy, and if they recommend you to others, you can be sure they'll share that your contracts aren't enforced.

I want to emphasize that I don't intend to be critical, but you really need some legal guidance. No one can really make complete suggestions without seeing the contract you have now.

On another issue, have you thought of working through an agency where these issues wouldn't arise?
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Do you pay taxes and into social security on the income you make from this lady?
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I just read what I wrote. Oh, I am sorry, it is very very hard to follow, and the reason I added the part about families and taking care of them and my sisters? Well, I guess, it is because I have been on both sides of the fence, parents do the best they can, I know, I am a parent, and everyone tries, and some people are just different.

I apologize this is so hard to follow, basic question, how to write a contract, and have it stick, as I do not want to be going to court, I never will, and I think people do feel I am a pushover, however, I have been doing this for 10 years, and never has this issue come up.

What do I state to the new woman, that stated I will be needing you more hours, can I get a break.

Can I go back after working with her for three weeks, and adjust things, and state that she decided on her own to pay me $5.00 less, that is unacceptable? I know I can as it is my own business, but I want to be compassionate.

Oh my thank you for all of your ears.
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