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Glossary of WCB Terms

Domestic Workers


Domestic Workers Coverage Requirements (Narrated MS PowerPoint)
Domestic Workers Coverage Requirements - text version

Domestic Workers Hired by Individuals

Domestic workers include chauffeurs, nannies, home health aides, au pairs, nurses, baby-sitters, maids, cooks, housekeepers, laundry workers, butlers, companions, and gardeners working in a private household.

Domestic workers employed forty or more hours per week by the same employer (including full-time sitters or companions, and live-in maids) are required to be covered by a New York State workers' compensation insurance policy. WCL §3 Group 12

Workers' compensation insurance is NOT required IF the only people who work for the household are domestic workers in a private household who individually work less than 40 hours per week for that household. Time spent at the residence including sleeping and eating and any additional time spent off premises running errands and performing other duties for the employer count towards the total hours worked per week. Also included in the calculation of hours worked per week are all hours where the employer requires the domestic worker's presence. For example, if the employer goes away for two full days and requires the domestic's presence, this counts as 48 hours worked.

While not required, a person who employs household help for less than 40 hours per week is encouraged to obtain a voluntary workers' compensation insurance policy to protect both the employer and the employee.

Please note that a homeowner's insurance policy's workers' compensation insurance rider does not cover any domestic employees for workers' compensation benefits. Insurance Law §3420(j)

Domestic Workers Provided by Agencies or Government Programs

Domestic workers arranged for and paid directly by domestic staffing or temporary service agencies are considered employees of those domestic staffing or temporary service agencies and not the residence that they are working in. Accordingly, as employees of a for-profit business, these "domestic workers" must be covered immediately by the staffing or temporary service agencies. (There is no forty hour per week minimum before coverage is required).

Also, for purposes of workers' compensation coverage requirements, domestic workers arranged for and paid directly by the state, a municipal corporation or other political subdivision of the state which provides housekeeping, or nursing services to an injured employee or recipient of social services assistance or which arranges for such services by authorizing the hiring of an employee for such purposes is the employee of that government agency, if that domestic worker is employed forty or more hours per week by the same employer. WCL §58