According to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, 23% of domestic workers report being injured on the job. Caring for babies and cleaning a house comes with its own set of hazards. Repetitive stress injuries are common, too: we see many domestic workers come in with musculoskeletal pain thanks to the backbreaking labor they’re subjected to.
In New Jersey, domestic workers have the same rights as other workers. That means they’re eligible for New Jersey minimum wage and workers compensation protections if injured on the job.
Casual, part-time babysitters are the only exception to this rule. “Domestic workers” means nannies, home health care workers, au pairs, butlers, and housekeepers. The law covers live-in workers as well.
The law even requires employers to schedule regular paydays at least twice a month. If you’re on duty for more than 24 hours. In that case, you must be paid for all that time, including sleep and meal periods, unless you and your employer make an agreement, the employer provides adequate sleeping facilities, and you can get an uninterrupted five hours of sleep every night.
Employers must keep detailed records of payments and hours worked. They may not pay you “under the table” or in cash, two situations that can make it difficult for a domestic worker to prove they had a job, were injured on that job, and were eligible for coverage.
Your employer must obtain workers compensation coverage as soon as they hire you. They must do this even if you are an immigrant worker. If they do not they may be subject to fines and criminal charges. The New Jersey Uninsured Employer’s Fund will cover your expenses.
For obvious reasons, employers who handle domestic workers very often balk at workers compensation and try to go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to avoid caring for injured workers. For example, if you are a live-in worker, they might try to claim that you were injured on your “personal time.” Your live-in status could make your work time harder to prove under certain circumstances.
Thus, you should call a lawyer the moment you suspect your employer is trying to wriggle free of their obligations.
You do not have to pay any money upfront to obtain help from our firm. We work on contingency, which means we only get paid if we obtain a settlement or a judgment on your behalf.
Contact our team to get started today.