Are Domestic Workers Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?

If you are a nanny, personal chef, or housekeeper, you might not think that you’re covered under workers’ compensation, especially if you work for a family. But did you know that all employers in the state of Massachusetts are required to carry workers’ comp insurance for their employees? It doesn’t matter whether you work in an office building or in someone’s private home. If you were injured while on-the-job, you should speak with a trusted workers’ comp attorney to find out about your options.

Domestic Workers and Workers’ Compensation

Since April 1, 2015, Massachusetts has extended employment protections to domestic workers. It is only the fourth state to do so! What this means for domestic workers is that they are now eligible to collect workers’ comp benefits if they are injured while on-the-job. This Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, which includes protections for everything from days of rest to lodging costs, has affected more than 67,000 domestic workers across the nation.

As long as domestic workers work more than 16 hours per week, they could receive workers’ comp for their work injury. Since Massachusetts’ workers’ comp system is “no-fault,” injured workers do not have to prove negligence in order to receive benefits. If a worker has missed at least five days of work (does not have to consecutive) due to their work injury, they may file a workers’ comp claim. Workers’ compensation benefits could include medical care, weekly payments for lost wages, and other services such as vocational rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Domestic Workers Covered by Workers’ Compensation

Almost every domestic worker is covered by workers’ comp insurance, regardless of whether or not they live in the household. Jobs that are covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Nanny services
  • Housekeeping
  • House cleaning
  • Laundering services
  • Cooking
  • Caretaking
  • Home companion services
  • Home management

It’s important to note that causal babysitters are not protected by workers’ comp insurance. This includes individuals who care for children on an irregular basis (such as teenagers who babysit everyone and a while) or those whose primary job is not taking care of children. Additionally, workers who care for seniors or people with disabilities under the MassHealth personal care attendant program are not protected by this law.

Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Lawyer

If you are a domestic worker, your employer might try and tell you that you’re not covered by workers’ comp insurance. Some employers may not even carry workers’ compensation insurance, which is against the law. If you run up against any problems after your work injury, speak to one of our workers’ comp lawyers at Powers & Caccavale. We are determined to get injured workers the compensation they deserve. Contact us today by filling out our free case evaluation or by calling us at (617) 379-0016.

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