Do you employ or are you thinking of hiring domestic staff? Nannies, housekeepers, maids, personal assistants, and gardeners are all employed to make you and your family’s lives simpler, but can turn into an expensive lawsuit in many situations. Adequate insurance coverage and appropriate employment guidelines are important for that very reason.
Generally, homeowner’s insurance does not cover the main concerns and risks when it comes to domestic employees. Lawsuits from prior and current household staff concerning wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, and privacy breaches are all common examples of risks that you should consider. Costly and lengthy lawsuits can also cause damage to high profile reputations, another important consideration.
1. Get a background check when hiring and consider writing an employee handbook.
Sterling provides background check services annually for our clients at no cost. A simple background check can reveal a wealth of information, protecting your home and your family. Additionally, our services can provide you with guidelines on how to draft an appropriate handbook for your domestic staff, including guidelines on what is expected from them during their employment.
2. Obtain Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) coverage.
Coverage ranges from $500,000 and can exceed $5M for far less in premium either on a stand-alone policy or add-on to your personal umbrella policy. This can provide coverage for the most common lawsuits waged against former employers: wrongful termination, harassment, and discrimination.
3. Obtain Workers’ Compensation coverage.
Many states require that employers carry workers’ compensation for their household staff. In the event that they are hurt while performing their duties.
4. Check your auto insurance.
Do any of your household staff drive your vehicles? If so, they may need to be added as a driver onto your insurance policy. Otherwise, you could be paying for an accident out of your own pocket.
5. When hiring contractors or subcontractors to do work on your property, request a certificate of insurance.
This is a quick request that can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. If their employer doesn’t carry worker’s compensation coverage for them, you could potentially be on the hook for their medical costs if they are hurt on your property.
Domestic employees have special considerations for families and individuals. If you have questions or are interested in learning more, please contact Sterling or email firstname.lastname@example.org.