Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Workers Compensation for Domestic Workers in Missouri

Workers Compensation for Domestic Workers in Missouri

By James Hoffmann  Nov. 30, 2019 1:40p

Things are generally pretty clear if you are employed by a business: if you get injured while doing your job, your employer is responsible for paying your workers compensation. For example, if you hurt your back while carrying boxes from the warehouse, you are generally entitled to receiving benefits.


However, what happens if you are a domestic worker, such as a housekeeper, gardener or nanny. Who pays for your treatment and lost wage if you fall while cleaning the windows, for example, and break your leg.


Here's what you need to know.


What Does the Law Say?

According to the law in Missouri, employers must carry workers' compensation insurance if they have five employees or more. The exceptions to this rule are domestic workers, farmworkers, real estate agents, and so on. Employers can choose to purchase workers' compensation insurance or self insure to protect themselves from a civil lawsuit in case the workers get injured, but the law doesn't specifically require them to do so.

The problem can get even more complicated as most housekeepers don't qualify as independent contractors and, as such, can't take out an insurance policy themselves. If you are directly employed by the person that hired you, then it may be a good idea to make a case for workers comp insurance. If your employer decides to carry this policy, then you are covered in case something happens and you get hurt on the job.

On the other hand, if you work for a company that offers housekeeping services and are not directly employed by the people you are working for, then your employer most probably carries insurance if he has more than five employees.


So, What If You Get Injured?

The process is pretty straightforward if you are covered by workers' comp insurance. You filea claim with the help of a St. Louis work injury attorney and wait for the insurance company to review it. If they approve it, then you will receive proper compensation for your medical treatment and lost wages.

The tricky part is when you are not covered and have to pay for medical expenses out of pocket. If your employer was negligent and they share at least part of the blame for the accident, then you can file a personal injury lawsuit and try to get compensation this way.


Talk with Your Employer

Discuss with your employer and explain how workers comp insurance benefits both of you. They may think that they are safe with their existing household insurance but in most cases, this policy only covers family members, and not the people working in the house.


If you get injured while performing your job and don't know what your options are, get in touch with a St. Louis workers' compensation lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and ensure they are protected.

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