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Can Nannies and Babysitters Get Workers’ Compensation?

September 20, 2021

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Getting hurt on the job can be catastrophic. For many injured workers, it means pain, expensive medical bills, and disability that prevents them from doing their jobs—and earning the paychecks they need to keep up with their daily living expenses. To protect people who get hurt on the job—and to shield their employers from litigation—Ohio requires that almost all businesses with employees carry workers’ compensation insurance.

However, not ALL businesses and workplaces are required to carry it, and not all employees and workers are eligible to be covered by it. Many people who aren’t employed in a traditional sense aren’t covered, including contractors, certain farm and agricultural workers, federal government employees, and more.

But what about household and domestic workers, including nannies and babysitters?

Yes, Nannies and Babysitters Can Be Eligible for Workers’ Compensation

People who work with children can and often do suffer serious injuries. They can be hurt playing with children, picking them up, or even by the children themselves. Because of that, they need resources for collecting replacement income if they get hurt on the job.

Ohio requires anyone who pays a household or domestic employee at least $160 in a calendar quarter (13 weeks) to purchase and maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This coverage can be arranged through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Cooks, Housekeepers, and Gardeners Must Be Covered, Too

Nannies and babysitters aren’t the only household workers who must be covered under a valid workers’ compensation insurance policy if they’re paid at least $160 in a 13-week period. This requirement also extends to domestic workers like cooks, housekeepers, and gardeners.

Who Is Considered an Employee?

Note that just because a homeowner pays someone more than $160 in a calendar quarter doesn’t mean they’re an employee. For example, a person who mows a lawn weekly and who is paid hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per quarter isn’t considered an employee and doesn’t need to be covered under workers’ compensation insurance.

What’s the difference between them and a babysitter? It depends on how their work is dictated and the means with which they’re able to do it. A landscaper or lawn care provider will have their own equipment and likely their own business, whereas a nanny or babysitter will work in a home using the homeowner’s possessions and directly under their supervision and instructions.

In addition, a nanny or babysitter will likely have a set schedule and a set of tasks assigned for them to complete on a given day, whereas other types of domestic workers may have more “free reign” of when and how they work.

What Happens if a Nanny or Babysitter Isn’t Covered Under Workers’ Comp?

If a nanny, babysitter, or other domestic worker gets hurt on a homeowner’s property and they don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, the homeowner may be on the hook for their expenses.

It’s also possible for a contractor to “turn into” an employee depending on how they complete the work at a home. If a painter primarily uses a homeowner’s brushes, paint, ladder, and other equipment to complete their work, they may suddenly be considered an employee in the eyes of the Ohio workers’ compensation system and NOT an independent contractor.

We Help Injured Workers Get the Benefits They’re Owed

If you’re a nanny, babysitter, or other domestic worker and were hurt on the job, you may be owed workers’ compensation benefits—especially if you work directly under someone’s directions or supervision and make at least $160 in a calendar quarter.

The Ohio workers’ compensation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy want to help you get the compensation you’re owed. We’ve assisted people with their workers’ compensation claims for decades, and we know what it takes to win—even if their employers didn’t have the coverage they were required to purchase. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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