Our Love-Hate Relationship With Nanny Cams
If you speak with some nannies no matter where they work and bring up the words “nanny cam,” you will get almost an immediate reaction from them. Some will tell you that in their assessment, the “nanny cam” can be seen as a tool in providing nanny care because in the event some mishaps take place on the job, they can always point to the camera for proof of their innocence. Some also believe that a nanny cam will confirm to their employers the high level of consistent care they provide every day, and this may aid in developing a trusting nanny-family relationship.
On the other hand, there are some nannies who vehemently oppose the idea of parents installing a nanny cam, and they believe that parents who do, have trust issues. Moreover, some believe that their privacies are violated when there is a camera staring down at every move they make. While I can make space to respect all these various ideas, I believe that a nanny cam could be an asset to nannies when providing nanny care. Nannies must also realize that in all the 50 states, it’s legal for a family to install a nanny cam, and they are not obligated to inform the nanny that they have a nanny cam. There are however considerations and guidelines that must be adhered to before a family decides to get a nanny cam. Families must know that a nanny cam can’t be installed in a bathroom that the nanny uses, and in the case of live-in nannies, the camera can’t be installed in the primary bedroom where the nanny uses. Then, we must explore the idea of having recording devices in the nanny cam, and that’s where parents must be guided by the law of the state in which they reside. Failure to follow the law could lead to evidence collected being inadmissible in court in the event that an alleged violation involving the nanny took place. The law in the following states requires that parents inform nannies that they have a nanny cam which records both audio and video. Such states include: “California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.” Care.com Website
Parents must ensure that they follow the laws in their state regarding certain issues about nanny cams, while nannies must make an added effort to familiarize themselves with the laws in the States where they work.
While I personally don’t believe that hiring families are obligated to tell a nanny that they have a nanny cam, they on the other hand should not lie to the nanny if the question about whether they have a nanny cam is brought up by the nanny during an interview. Furthermore, by the nanny asking the question about a nanny cam, a family should not arrive at a premature conclusion that the nanny is doing so because she has something to hide. It could be that she just wants to be informed so that she can protect her own privacy. We all know that things happen without warning while working with kids. A sick child may throw up all over the nanny’s blouse, and she may be tempted to remove her shirt right in the family room where a camera may be recording. We hear these stories by nannies every day and some are captured on videos, and many nannies trust that these videos are used in an ethical way all the time.