Workers’ Comp for California Nannies

If you employ a nanny in California, here’s what you need to know about workers’ comp.

Workers’ Comp 101

Workers’ comp is simply a type of insurance.  Specifically, it is insurance for workers who are injured or become ill on the job.

Employers who provide workers’ comp are, in most instances, protected against a lawsuit by an employee who suffers a workplace injury.

How would it work with your nanny?  Let’s say he or she twists her knee while playing with the children and must miss work for a week.  Your workers’ comp policy will likely cover wages for that period and also help with medical expenses.

California Law

California law requires most parents employing a nanny to buy a workers’ comp policy.

There are two exemptions.  First, you’re exempted if your nanny worked less than 52 hours in total during the 90 days immediately before an injury.  That’s approximately 4 hours per week, much lower than most nannies work.  Second, you’re exempted if your nanny earned less than $100 in wages the 90 days before an injury.  For most parents, this exemption is unlikely to apply.

In short, chances are that you need to obtain a policy covering your nanny.

If you have questions about the requirements, contact an employment attorney or call the CA Dept. of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation at 1 (800) 736-7401.

I Need a Policy!

You have a few options for finding a workers’ comp policy.

First, contact your homeowner’s or umbrella insurer and ask if you have coverage for domestic employees. If you don’t have coverage, ask if a ‘rider’ covering your nanny can be added to your current policy.

Second, you can buy a freestanding policy.   There are dozens of insurance companies (such as Travelers, Chubb, State Farm, and Hartford Mutual) providing workers’ comp for California employers.  Be sure to compare quotes.

Lastly, you can buy a policy through the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF).  SCIF is state operated and is usually more expensive than the private market.

My Nanny Is Injured — Now What?

If your nanny suffers a work-related injury or illness, see that he or she seeks medical attention immediately.

Next, contact both the CA Dept. of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation and your insurance company.  There are strict time requirements, so report the injury or illness immediately.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact an employment attorney.  And be sure to put in place a nanny contract addressing workers’ comp.

DISCLAIMER: This post provides information only and not legal advice, and it is not a substitute for an attorney. If you need legal advice, please consult a licensed attorney .