In a frightening scenario, a woman hired as a live-in nanny in Upland, California is refusing to work, will not consent to being fired, and will not leave the family’s home.
Instead, she is telling the family they must leave the house between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day, while she eats the family’s food and continues to live with the three children-ages 11, 4, and 1-and stays in her room.
The nanny, Diane Stretton, 64, has allegedly been part of 36 lawsuits, and is named on California’s Vexatious Litigant Lists. The mother of the family, Marcella Bracamonte, asserted, “Anyone who looks at her crooked, she sues,” and added that Stretton has been threatening to sue Bracamonte’s family for wrongful firing and elder abuse.
Marcella and her husband Ralph Bracamonte hired Stretton on March 4 to watch over their children and do some chores in exchange for room and board. Marcella Bracamonte told ABC News:
We’ve done it before and have never had a problem. I was a stay-at-home mom and thought it would be good to have someone around to help out. The first few weeks, she was awesome. She would come places with us, help out the kids. She was really great. All of a sudden she stopped working, she would stay in her room all day and only come out when food was ready.
Stretton evaded her chores and her nannying by claiming that she was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Bracamontes presented Streton with a “last chance letter” on June 6, delineating and repeating the conditions for which she had been employed and warning her of the consequences if she refused to work.
Stretton would not sign the letter, protesting the job was too hard, but added she would leave in 30 days. The Bracamontes then presented Stretton with a second letter, which codified the 30-day notice; Stretton again refused to sign.
Marcella Bracamonte said, “When I asked her why she wouldn’t sign the letter she said, ‘It’s not legal,’ and slammed the door in my face. Once she said the word legal, I knew it wasn’t going to be fun.”
Bracamonte contacted the police, who refused to intervene and claimed it was a civil matter. Lt. John Moore of the Upland Police Department told ABC News that the police were powerless, that “generally, once somebody has established residency, you have to go through a formal eviction process.”
Bracamonte was furious over Stretton’s demand that the family leave the house during the day, firing back, “I’m not going to bend for her. I’m in charge, this is my house. She’s not going to scare me out of my own house.”
But Bracamonte still has deep concerns about her children being in the house with Stretton. She said, “I worry there’s obviously something not right in her mind, and the police won’t protect us until someone gets hurt,” concluding, “You don’t know what you’re opening yourself up to when you open your house to someone.”