Don’t assume you don’t have workers’ compensation coverage just because you are a domestic worker in New York.
Workers’ compensation coverage is required if the same employer employs a domestic employer for forty or more hours per week. This includes any time at the residence, including sleeping and eating. If the domestic worker runs errands for the employer, that time also counts.
In addition, you may be eligible for Disability, and Paid Family Leave coverage if you do chores for a family for 30 days or more during a calendar year or if you work 20 or more hours per week for the same employer. As with workers’ compensation, time spent at the residence, including sleeping and eating, counts, as does time spent running errands.
You are eligible even if you are an undocumented worker.
If you work for an agency, the agency counts as “the same employer” and will be responsible for providing your workers’ compensation coverage.
If you’re a domestic worker who gets injured on the job, your initial steps are exactly the same as they’d be for a factory worker or office employee. Get medical attention, and then notify the supervisor about your injury. Put your notification in writing and retain a copy for your own records.
You will also need to file a C-3 form with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Remember, you have the right to emergency care. In addition, your employer must provide you with at least two options in each medical specialty or at least two hospitals to choose from for non-emergency care.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, they can be fined and held responsible for your costs. In addition, you may be eligible for compensation through the Uninsured Employers’ Fund.
If workers’ compensation denies your claim or your employer refuses to admit you were at work at the time of the claim, you may need an attorney to help you navigate the process and the system. In addition, you should seek an attorney if you’ve already been having a hard time with your employer. An employer who commits wage theft and who refuses to pay overtime is unlikely to cooperate with a workers’ compensation claim when you get hurt.
We have experience helping workers get the money they’re owed. You’re entitled to medical expenses and a portion of your weekly wages, including overtime pay. Don’t try to manage your workers’ compensation alone: get help.