Can Domestic Workers File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

There are more than two million domestic workers in the United States. These individuals take on the roles of housekeepers, nannies, caregivers, and home health aides. These jobs are incredibly important, and they can present some unique risks. Domestic workers are often exposed to situations that could be dangerous to their health. Some examples include:

  • Exposure to bodily fluids
  • Heavy lifting of objects or persons
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Exposure to client pets/animals
  • Exposure to illnesses

While the jobs performed by domestic workers are incredibly important, there is a disparity in how domestic workers are treated, and the benefits they are entitled to.

Can Domestic Workers File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

A general search of workers’ compensation laws will tell you that domestic workers are not classified as “employees” and therefore, are most likely not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job. However, California is one of few states that offers some level of protection for domestic workers.

Under California law, full time domestic workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, even if they are working for an individual and not a business.

  • Inside workers (nannies, housekeepers, etc.) must work at least 20 hours per week to be considered full time.
  • Outside workers (landscapers, etc.) must work at least 10 hours per week to be considered full time.

In order to qualify, the domestic worker must meet the following requirements:

  • Have worked at least 52 hours over the period of 90 days prior to the accident
  • Earned at least $100 in wages

If you meet all of these requirements, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim if you have been injured while on the job. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine whether you qualify, and if so, how to proceed. Contact the Law Offices of George S. Henderson to speak with our workers’ compensation attorney about your claim.


The Physical Dangers of Being a Registered Nurse

After years of education and training, you have finally been awarded the title of Registered Nurse (RN). While there are many great attributes to being an RN, there are also some environmental hazards for nurses that you should be aware of. More specifically, the physical dangers of being a registered nurse include:

  • Back Injuries: Back injuries are one of the most common physical dangers for RN’s. Research has suggested that as many as 40,000 U.S. nurses report back injuries every year. Back injuries are most commonly associated with lifting patients, carrying equipment, and performing repetitive movements.
  • Infectious Diseases: RN’s are exposed to patients with all sorts of ailments. In hospitals, especially, infectious diseases are a significant hazard. The physical dangers of infectious diseases can be ongoing, as diseases like Hepatitis B or C, or HIV can have a long-term impact on your health.
  • Toxic Substances: RN’s are required to utilize a variety of substances that could be toxic. Anesthetics, gases, chemicals, and some medication agents, if not properly handled, could be toxic or deadly. There is also the risk of side effects like chemical burns, contact dermatitis, and occupational asthma.
  • Radiation: RN’s often work in specialty units like radiology, where they perform X-rays, MRI’s and other tests. In these environments, radiation exposure is a real danger. Exposure to radiation can cause side effects that impact bone and skin health, can increase the risk of miscarriage, and can lead to some types of cancer.
  • Violence: Sometimes people who need medical attention aren’t in the best frame of mind. Other times, they are accompanied by a police escort before being taken to jail. Nurses must treat these patients just as they would any other. Unfortunately, sometimes patients become violent, which can lead to nurses being injured.

Like any occupation, RN’s must face environmental hazards. Many of these hazards can be managed with proper training, safety gear, and following protocols.