Workers’ compensation insurance, or “workers’ comp” for short, is a type of insurance.More specifically, it’s insurance for workers who are injured or become ill on the job.
Workers comp serves two purposes. First, it helps an employee. For example, let’s say your nanny twists her knee while playing with your child and can’t work for a week. Unless you have a “paid leave” policy in place, she won’t get paid for that week. She might also have medical bills to pay. That’s where a workers’ comp policy is helpful, as it will likely cover lost wages as well as medical expenses for the work injury.
The second purpose of workers’ comp is to protect the employer. For many states, employees covered by a workers’ comp policy are barred from suing their employer for a workplace injury. Virginia is different for nannies, as we explain below, but it’s still worth considering.
Virginia Workers’ Comp Requirements
In Virginia, some, but not all, employers are required to buy a workers’ comp policy covering employees. Virginia law notably exempts “domestic servants” from its mandatory insurance requirements.
Because nannies are considered “domestic servants”, parents are not required to buy a workers’ comp policy covering their nanny.
Although it’s not required, parents can voluntarily choose to buy a workers’ comp policy covering their nanny.
Given the rigors of the job, it’s not a bad idea. First, it can provide actual cash, in the event a nanny is injured on a job. Second, it provides peace of mind for both parents and their nanny. And third, if a nanny is injured and receives help from the insurance policy, she’s less likely to sue the parents.
If you have questions about workers comp insurance requirements in Virginia, contact an employment attorney or call the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission at (804) 205-3586 or www.workcomp.virginia.gov. In addition, consider addressing workers’ comp in your nanny employment contract.