If you are hired to work in and around another person’s home you may be considered an employee. This can hold true whether you are a nanny, housekeeper, caregiver or lawn maintenance technician.
Being a household employee means your employer has a responsibility to you. Some of these responsibilities are obvious while some might not occur to the average person. For example, qualify as an employee for purposes of Worker’s Compensation, should you get injured on the job and unable to return to that position, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation that includes job retraining.
What household employees should know about workers’ compensation insurance
If you qualify as a household employee who earns more than $1,000 in a calendar year, Maryland requires your employer to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy on you. This means that as a worker in a household, it may feel like a more intimate and informal type of employment, but you have the same entitlements for compensation as a worker in any other industry. And so, you must understand that:
- If you are injured at work, you can receive compensation for time missed and medical treatment.
- You have rights regarding what you do and do not disclose to your employer about your injury.
- Employees who accept benefits often forgo their right to sue the employer.
Workers compensation protects employers by protecting their workers from the effects of on-the-job injuries. But, due to certain rules regarding minors – such as the need for work permits and the different standards for payouts in the event of injury or death – it can be more challenging to find work as a household employee if you are under 18.
Get the information you need
A usual pitfall with household employees is being considered an independent contractor. Should a worker qualify as an independent contractor, rather than employee pursuant to the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Act, that worker would not be covered and be entitled to benefits. If you plan to work in someone’s home or are injured while working at residential property, it’s best to get advice from an experienced worker’s compensation attorney to understand if you are covered and what compensation you may be entitled to.