If you work as a nanny or maid, you might find yourself driving your employer's children to school and other events. You might also find that you're running different errands for your employer, like buying groceries and doing other kinds of shopping.
Have you ever thought to consider what would happen if you got injured in a car accident during one of these sojourns? You might want to make sure that your employer is insured, and that the insurance covers your injuries. Double-checking on this could save your job and your relationship with your employer in the future.
What are your workers' compensation rights as a nanny?
Your employer may be legally obligated to pay for your injuries if you get into an on-the-job car accident. Even if the accident was your fault -- if you got into the crash and suffered the injuries during the course and scope of your employment -- your employer could be liable to pay for your medical care and lost income due to time spent unable to work.
Problems may arise if your employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance because your employer will need to pay for your injuries out of his or her pocket. If your employer can't afford the cost of your medical care, you could be out of luck. Alternatively, your employer might not want to pay for your medical care out of pocket -- and that could require you to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
Illinois law actually requires the employers of domestic workers to maintain workers' compensation insurance. However, many of these jobs are informal in nature, and families employing a nanny or domestic laborer never fulfill this requirement.
As you might imagine, therefore, if your employer doesn't carry workers' compensation insurance to pay for your injuries in the event of a work-related accident, it could seriously strain your relationship with him or her in the unlikely event you suffer an injury.
The Injured Worker Benefit Fund might be able to help
If you're suffering from injuries, and your employer won't -- or can't -- pay for them, you might be able to qualify for compensation support through the Injured Worker Benefit Fund. This fund exists to help pay for medical care when an employer fails to do so. In order to qualify for these benefits, injured workers will need to satisfy various reporting requirements.