Most people know that California employers are required to provide workers compensation insurance coverage for their employees. But some people actually are employers without even realizing it.
For example, if you hire someone to clean your house — and if this person does so regularly — then this person is your employee, and you are their employer. And you are required to carry workers comp insurance to cover any potential injury that your employee sustains while on the job for you.
If you own your home, you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, which usually includes workers comp coverage … HOWEVER, the workers comp coverage in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy is for occasional, casual laborers, NOT ongoing employees.
There are rules and regulations (of course) for determining the differences between occasional workers and ongoing employees. And there are numerous lawsuits on the books in which attorneys have argued both sides of the employment issue. But if a person comes to your home on a regular basis — weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or whatever “regular” means in your case — that person more than likely will be considered your employee by whatever governmental agency ends up looking into the issue.
So if you are an employer, how do you comply with the law and provide this required coverage? You can check with your insurance agent about adding the necessary extra coverage to your homeowner’s policy, or you can look into purchasing an actual workers comp policy.
Or if you decide that you don’t want to be an employer at all, you can hire an insured, professional housecleaning company rather than an uninsured individual to clean your home!
When you hire Mini Mops, Inc. to clean your home, you are purchasing our services. Mini Mops is the employer. The workers who come to clean your home are Mini Mops employees. If they get injured, they are covered under the Mini Mops workers compensation insurance policy, and you have no worries at all.
By the way, providing workers comp is not the only thing required of household employers. Like all employers, you must also withhold, file and deposit state and federal taxes as well as social security, Medicare, state disability and unemployment contributions. The Employment Development Department has an 81-page document that gives guidance on the legal requirements of being a household employer. The 2011 Household Employer’s Guide is available at http://www.edd.ca.gov/pdf_pub_ctr/de8829.pdf.
Again, you hold none of the responsibilities of being an employer when you hire the services of a professional housecleaning company rather than an uninsured individual.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re covered in case of an accident. After all, it’s a cliche but there is some truth to the saying that “most accidents occur at home.”