Hurt At Home: Work Injuries Sustained Working In Someone’s Home

The often informal nature of household employment makes it sound a little strange to apply workers’ compensation laws to the situation; if you’ve been working for a family for cash each week and you are injured while working, your first reaction might not be to turn to the legal system and start filling hurt while workingout forms. But, in some circumstances, you might be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits if you are a Minnesota household/domestic worker and you suffer an on-the-job injury.

Under state law, a person employed as a domestic worker, repairer, groundskeeper, or maintenance worker at a private household can recover workers’ compensation benefits if the worker earned more than $1,000 cash during a quarter of the year. Additionally, you can be eligible for benefits if you earned more than $1,000 in any quarter of the previous year.

The $1,000 cash threshold doesn’t take into account your anticipated pay for the rest of the quarter—you must have actually already earned $1,000 in one of the relevant quarters to be covered under the workers’ compensation system.

Who pays?

If you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under the above rules, you might be wondering who’s going to be paying for these benefits, since many people who hire a private household worker haven’t thought about getting workers’ compensation insurance. The answer is that the Minnesota state compensation fund will still pay you the full amount of benefits to which you’re entitled; the fund then may sue your employer. But, in any event, the worry of collecting the money is with the state compensation fund, not with you. Finally, if you don’t meet the income threshold for coverage under the workers’ compensation system, you may instead be able to bring a lawsuit against your employer, which could allow you to recover financial compensation for your injury through the court system instead of through the workers’ compensation system.