What is my liability I was a nanny for a family that gave me a credit card to purchase whatever they or my child needed?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What is my liability I was a nanny for a family that gave me a credit card to purchase whatever they or my child needed?

Before quitting my boss and I sat down to order some things on and discussed her helping me out with Christmas items. Now that I’ve quit she’s trying to hold me responsible for charges she authorized. I never once signed her name and I always made sure her information was on the billing section even though it was delivered to my home. I even have gift receipts and notes from her. Also, when I quit, I sent the credit card back to her certified mail. I quit due to her husband being too interested in me when his wife was not around. I am a single mom, I don’t need this in my life, I’ve done nothing wrong but try to support my child.

Asked on November 4, 2015 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if she authorized the charges, you are not liable for them. Practically, it may come down to (if she sues you; you don't have to pay unless she sues and wins) who the court believes: you or her. If you have documentation, as you indicate, showing a pattern of charges over time with her kept "in the loop" on them, it will be difficult for her to credibly show that she did not authorize them: after all, if they were unauthorized, wouldn't she have taken action (fired you; canceled credit card; filed police report; sued you; etc.) after the first charge? 

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