Domestic Staff

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Employing staff to run your household allows you the opportunity to spend time in other pursuits, such as achieving a higher degree of success in business, raising and educating your children, or participating in philanthropic activities.

Just as in business, employing staff is a great responsibility and does carry associated risks. Most states have laws in effect to protect the employee; however, these same laws may not protect you, the employer, to the same degree. If you employ people to work in and around your home, you need to have insurance to protect your assets.

The following are considered domestic staff, by most states:

  • Butler
  • Cook
  • Caretaker
  • Gardener
  • Chauffer
  • Nanny, governess, governor, babysitter
  • Handyman
  • Home health care worker
  • Housekeeper/maid
  • Laundry worker
  • Private yacht crew
  • Pilots of private jet/plane for family use

Other employees not considered domestic staff but subject to workers’ compensation include personal assistants and estate/household managers.
Two critical insurances are Workers’ Compensation and Employment Practices Liability. Some states also require disability insurance.

Workers’ Compensation

If an employee injures him- or herself while on the job, you’ll want to have adequate coverage to address medical costs and lost wages through a Workers’ Compensation policy. Workers’ Comp covers not only medical and rehabilitative care needed by the employee and lost wages; it also provides benefits for dependents in the event of an employee’s death due to a work-related accident.
Workers’ Compensation coverage is broad, and claims can be substantial. Foregoing Workers’ Compensation insurance may mean you could have to pay out of pocket for what the policy would have covered, and be subject to state penalties for failing to have a Workers’ Compensation policy in effect.

Employment Practices Liability

Nobody wants to be sued, but the fact is it happens more often than you might think. Alleged misdeeds ranging from employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination are common complaints. Lawsuits like these could threaten not only your reputation, but financially cripple your estate.

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