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Is Workers’ Compensation Coverage Mandatory for Domestic Employees? Workers’ comp coverage is mandatory for domestic workers in some U.S. states. Medical review services help determine workers’ compensation eligibility.

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Workers’ compensation insurance coverage is a lifeline for workers injured on the job and has to stay away from work for a certain period of time. Many U.S states require families to carry workers’ compensation for their household employees. Domestic workers are classified into those who work inside, and those who work outside. The former category includes cook, housekeeper, home health aide, and babysitter while the latter group includes private driver and gardener among others. Domestic employees are also categorized based on the number of hours they work in a week. If a domestic employee is injured during his/her work and can establish the injury via a medical record analysis, he/she can qualify for the workers’ compensation program depending on the number of hours worked, pay rate and other compensation details. Proving the impairment and how it prevents the employee from working is difficult. Since medical proof is most important, attorneys handling such cases utilize medical review services to lighten the complexity and give their clients a better chance to obtain benefits. Rules Vary across the States Rules regarding workers’ compensation coverage for domestic workers vary from one state to another. In New York, for example, private household workers employed for 40 or more hours per week by the same employer (including live-in help) have to be provided coverage. A person who employs domestic workers for less than 40 hours per week can also consider obtaining a voluntary workers’ comp insurance policy to protect both the employer and the employee. In Pennsylvania, coverage is optional. For a person working as a domestic worker to obtain benefits, the employer must either purchase insurance coverage or apply to the Department of Labor and Industry and obtain approval before an injury occurs. Another thing to note is that whether or not the work constitutes domestic service is usually decided on a case by case basis. Why Employers Should Buy Coverage for Domestic Employees It is best that employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance if they have domestic employees working for them. The main reasons for this are:

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It would reduce the possibility of being sued by an employee because typically the right to sue is waived in order to claim the scheduled benefits.

It would protect the employer from a health insurer that may decide a claim it paid was in fact related to the injured employee’s work, and pursue the employer for reimbursement.

It would compensate for lost wages and medical costs if the employee is badly injured.

A homeowner’s policy cannot be a substitute for workers’ compensation insurance. Though some injuries may be covered, there may not be coverage for lost wages. Moreover, workers’ compensation benefits are paid almost immediately whereas the homeowner’s policy will provide the reimbursement usually at a later date and after a claim has been submitted and evaluated. New Legislation Could Bring Changes In the United States, there are about 2 million domestic workers and this workforce is growing larger with baby boomers aging and millennials starting to have children. Unfortunately, domestic workers are often excluded from basic workplace protections including workers’ compensation and also experience abuse and exploitation. 8 states and Seattle have passed bills pertaining to domestic-worker rights that provide some of these protections. However, in other places domestic workers face a number of problems. This situation is expected to change in the near future with legislation that was announced in Congress in November 2018. A federal bill of rights for domestic workers, the first-ever nationwide legislation that would extend working rights to domestic workers and provide them financial stability and safety, was announced. This bill would ensure that domestic workers are covered by some basic labor laws, i.e. the right to overtime pay when they work for more than 40 hours a week; the right to protections provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); the right to form unions, and to recourse against discrimination and harassment. Other new rights include the right to meal and rest breaks, advanced notice of scheduling, paid sick leave, written agreements, and privacy and other

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protections for live-in workers. The proposed bill would also create a new retirementsavings plan funded by employers, provide workers affordable health insurance, and create training and development programs. In addition, it would create and fund a new Interagency Task Force on Protecting Domestic Workers’ Workplace Rights including the involvement of the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to regulate the industry and ensure that employers comply with the new rules. Supporters of the bill consider it the necessity of the hour and are hopeful. Workers’ compensation attorneys can help injured domestic employees obtain their due benefits. They will provide the required counsel after determining the legal feasibility of the case using medical review services and other processes. Attorneys are knowledgeable about the states where workers’ comp is mandatory for domestic employees and where it is not. Since the benefits are paid based on considerations such as type of employee, number of hours worked, nature of the work and so on, employees who are represented by a reliable lawyer have a better chance to win their claim.

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Is Workers’ Compensation Coverage Mandatory for Domestic Employees?  

Workers’ comp coverage is mandatory for domestic workers in some U.S. states. Medical review services help determine workers’ compensation e...

Is Workers’ Compensation Coverage Mandatory for Domestic Employees?  

Workers’ comp coverage is mandatory for domestic workers in some U.S. states. Medical review services help determine workers’ compensation e...

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