In our ongoing effort to help improve employer effectiveness, we offer today’s lesson in the Domestic Employer category. People looking for someone to live in their home and care for their children should probably not hire people they find on Craigslist to perform those tasks.

A couple in California thought they had found the ideal nanny to care for their children. They found her on the community website Craigslist. The 64 year old woman, in exchange for room and board, agreed to care for the couple’s children and perform light housekeeping duties.

Now, as brilliant as this particular element of the home management business plan may seem, there are some cautionary elements that this couple should consider. For starters, this was frickin’ Craigslist. That in itself should have been a clue that more due diligence may be in order. Furthermore, you need no “furthermore” as they hired a nanny they found on Craigslist, for God’s sake. That should be enough.

Nevertheless, our nanny seeking couple says that the woman they hired only worked for about two months, and then ceased to perform her duties. She spent most of the time in her room, complaining of various health issues. Try as they might, the couple could not cajole her into complying with her part of the agreement. So they asked her to leave.

She didn't. So they tried to evict her.

And they failed.

It seems that authorities would not remove the woman from the home, considering this a domestic matter. The couple had her served with eviction papers, but that effort also failed. It appears they served her the wrong paperwork.

Of course they served the wrong paperwork. They hired a woman to care for their children off of Craigslist for Christ’s sake. Who would expect people who do that to be able to competently handle eviction paperwork?

Either that or they also found their lawyer on Craigslist. He's probably living in the basement.

These people complain that it is like living with an intruder. The husband says “They told me it was now a civil matter, and I have to [legally] evict her. So this lady is welcome inside my house, anytime she wants, to eat my food anytime she wants and harass me basically. I'm now a victim in my home and it's completely legal.” I feel for them, and to their credit they took the story public, to warn others against making the same error.

Except they are serving the wrong lesson.  The family says they “know the eviction process can take a while” and they want “to speak out to warn other families and to advise them to always use an attorney in such matters.” That is a secondary lesson. The real lesson, of course, is not to hire a live-in nanny you find in the virtual equivalent of a community yard sale.

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