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View Poll Results: Was helper justified to give medicine against our instruction to make our baby sleep?

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107. You may not vote on this poll
  • Acceptable

    0 0%
  • Somewhat acceptable

    0 0%
  • Not sure

    1 0.93%
  • Somewhat Unacceptable, Give 2nd chance

    6 5.61%
  • Unacceptable, Terminate

    101 94.39%
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Helper Caught Drugging Baby to Sleep

  1. #1
    striker is offline Registered User
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    Helper Caught Drugging Baby to Sleep

    Helper Caught Drugging Baby to Sleep

    we have had our helper for about a year and a half. overall, she has been good -- honest, cleans well, mostly seems to really care for our babies, attentive and mostly takes instruction. however, we recently caught her, and she admitted herself, drugging our 1.5 year old baby to sleep on at least two occassions when we were not at home. would you consider this a serious issue worthy of termination, or do u think many or most helpers might already be doing things like this without their employer's knowledge? Which percentile (top 10%, bottom 10%, etc) do you think this helper would be in the universe of HK helpers out there? Would you hire this helper yourself?

    good points
    - seems attentive and responsible for our babies
    - over 1.5yrs, our baby boy does have some attachment to the helper
    - plays well and seems able to teach our baby
    - cleans and organizes well
    - can mostly cook well when trying
    - neat clean appearance and manner
    - excellent english
    - mostly takes instruction
    - doesn't endlessly chat on her mobile like some other helpers

    negative points
    - occasionally ignores, and sometimes directly disobeys instruction
    - occasional bad attitude, and can talk back at times
    - occasionally ruins clothes by improperly laundering or ironing
    - often moody, especially when criticized
    - sometimes absent minded and forgetful

    more background on the incidents

    as we recently had a second baby, we hired a second helper, who was less experienced, and had an effectively lower standard of cleanliness than our first helper (which we learned later). We knew going in that many helpers are very leary of working with another helper, especially when both are from the Phillipines, and had heard the negative gossip from 3rd hand experiences. So we tried extra hard to make sure that both helpers would be able to get along, and allowed our 1st helper to make comments on our new prospectives, even eliminating one top prospect who she had objected to, and stressed that having two helpers could make their life a lot easier if they could work well together, and better than either of them might have if they had to handle a complete household on their own.

    from the beginning, the two seemed to get along well, however in a few weeks, the two seemed to be having a barely concealed conflict between the two -- with the first helper trying to order around the new helper, criticizing her work, and the second helper, alledgedly not being able to keep up to the standards of the first helper (which was true, albeit she had just started), and making it a little difficult for her, always asking her what and how she was supposed to do something.

    after a period of our babies not being able to sleep, and having a run of viruses, the first helper on at least two occasions gave some medicine to our baby mixed in with his formula, to get him to sleep. we were not there on both occassions, but the second helper later told us she had caught her doing it, and the first helper admitted to us that she had done it. the second helper told on the first, because the first helper had (rightly) complained to us that she had heard from her friends that the second helper was talking on the phone too much, and not paying attention to our baby, when taking him out for a walk or for play, even letting him run off unsupervised. so the second helper attacked the first by saying, at least she was not drugging the baby. the medicine given was a medicine that had already been prescribed for our baby for use against excessive vomiting (if needed), but after the first few days as he was not vomiting, we had told them both specifically to stop giving this medicine.

    we had an initial talk, where the first helper had admitted she had done it, and where she had threatened to quit, or at least serve out her contract (which she quickly added making the threat), because she said she had difficulty with the second helper, and with sleeping with the baby. however we need to have a more detailed talk after the emotions of the event first happened. her first admission was somewhat defiant, and we didn't hear any impassioned apology at the time.

    in our minds, the intention of the helper's action, her willingness to accept fault, her defiance of our instruction or inability to obey, and our abilities to continue to trust this helper, will be foremost in our minds deciding whether these actions are curable or not, and whether she deserves a second chance. in addition, we have no idea what other actions she might have done, or if she has been giving him sleeping aids or any other medicines, without our knowing.

    we live in an 1100sf apartment, and have rented an additional 2BR 800sf apartment for our high school age son, and one of the helpers in a neighboring building. both helpers alternate duties and sleeping in the 2nd apartment every other week. when the first helper's sister died, we immediately arranged and paid for a round trip ticket for her to return for the funeral, and allowed her a week and a half vacation days even though she had just started to work for us.

  2. #2
    elle is offline Registered User
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    There is no way in hell that anyone who ever gave my child a drug against my wishes or without my consent would ever care for my child again. It is reckless and with an infant in the wrong dosage potentially fatal. I would have terminated her on the spot. I treat our maid and nanny with the utmost respect, but I have always been very clear that any medication given to my child without my instruction would result in their immediate termination. Don't mean to sound overly harsh, but this isn't just poor judgment, it is stupid and can be exceptionally dangerous. All the other issues wouldn't mitigate. If in your circumstances you decide to give her another chance I would move all baby medication away from her and have both sign something stating that medication baby without instruction will result in immediate termination. Would also write up the helper that did it so you have a record.

  3. #3
    elle is offline Registered User
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    Ps. An an employer of a helper and a nanny I have zero tolerance for conflict between them, concealed or not. We had a big problem a while back, I wrote our helper up and had a stern talk with our nanny (here on a work visa) and documented it. We asked our helper to take a week vacation and decide if she would like to continue working with us and if so if she can get along with our nanny. I explained that I have had to work with plenty of people I dislike in the past, but who my employer chooses to hire isn't my decision and my options were to act like an adult and continue doing my job in a professional manner or leave and that she would be held to the same standard. She seemed to understand this and knock on wood things have been going better since. However, I am mentally prepared to follow through with my decision to terminate her if any future problems arise now that I have made my expectations clear.
    carang, satay sue and striker like this.

  4. #4
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i would sack the two of them without notice! drugging your baby without your knowledge? this is even a question? really?

    does she know your child's medical history? does she know the possible side effects of the drugs? what if she got the dosage wrong? does she have first aid training in case her stunt went horribly wrong? does she know of any possible conflicts between drugs your child might be taking? where did she get the drugs from? are they even approved for kids? what if your kid had an allergic reaction? she's giving a medicine to stop vomitting to help the kid sleep? what the hell makes her think it will do that?

    as for conflict between the two.... forget it. they are there to make your life easier. not to have you play referee! they need to grow up and take responsibility for their childish and dangerous behaviour!

    who cares how well she cleans? she is DRUGGING YOUR KID WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE! sorry for the caps, but i really can't fathom why you would even consider keeping her!?

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    to be honest, i didn't read your entire post. to me, all of the background information makes not one whit of difference. the long and the short of it is that she drugged your kid without your consent or knowledge. i am just thankful nothing serious happened to him.
    elle and missidealiste like this.

  6. #6
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    Haven't read your entirost but when a helper drugs my baby without my consent it is cause for serious concern. Would I fire her...perhaps not, but that'd be the last chance and then keep all medication alway from her grasp...even if it means hiding it, I have two helpers, if they don't get along or work out a solution on there own...they'd both be fired. Told them they are hired to work as a team and that I am not here to solve their problems, but for them to make life easiest for me...that's it.
    carang and Chriswychow like this.

  7. #7
    elle is offline Registered User
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    One other thing to think about - just noticed that you have one of your helpers sleeping in a secondary residence leased by you. Although you lease the residence I believe that helpers are only permitted to work and reside at the primary residence of their employer and this may cause trouble for you with immigration if she raises the issue upon termination or otheewise. I would perhaps seek clarification of the potential implications. Our friend has a weekend house on one of the outlying islands and got into a heap of trouble for having their helper go there with them on Saturdays without express permission from Immigration. She paid a huge fine and was almost prohibited from hiring a FDH for a period of years.

  8. #8
    tenten is offline Registered User
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    Absolutely unacceptable!! I would fire your first helper immediately. Administering drugs to your child to get him to sleep??! That shows utter disregard to your child's safety. Like others have pointed out - what if the dosage was wrong? Or it's not the right medication? I shudder to think of the consequences.
    The fact that she admitted it / is apologetic is irrelevant. She clearly has no qualms taking short cuts to make her life easier - what else has she done that you are not aware of? And what else is she capable of doing going down the line? Someone like her needs to be taught a harsh lesson, I'm sorry. She should not be in a capacity of looking after children period. Please terminate her and do everyone else a favour by putting it in her record at immigration about this - I would not want to unwittingly hire someone like this to look after my children.

    The other points you mentioned are moot - who cares how good a cleaner she is. And terminating her would serve as a strong example to your second helper that you will not tolerate such willful deceit.
    On the subject of 2 helpers not getting along - I agree with the others. They've been hired as adults and if they cannot manage a working relationship with another adult, they simply are not the right fit for the family.
    Sorry to be harsh but I rarely chime in on posts but I feel I must here - fire the first helper immediately!
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    Posted via Mobile Device
    carang, slin and lululuk87 like this.

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