Families often hire domestic staff directly, because they believe the cost is lower. These workers over time become trusted. However, these same people have been shown to file lawsuits for injury on the family’s property, engage in theft of jewelry or other family property, use personal information to acquire fraudulent loans, bring discrimination lawsuits and more.
Your Worker May Be Considered Your Employee
If you pay ANY domestic worker $2,000 or more in a calendar year and you determine the dates, times, and hours they work for you, then the Federal Government will see your domestic worker as your employee, and this has many risks as will be explained below.
- It doesn’t matter if the work is performed full time or part time.
- It doesn’t matter if he/she is paid hourly, daily or by salary.
- It doesn’t matter if you believe your worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
You Can Be Criminally Prosecuted
- The federal government’s Immigration Customs Enforcement Act has intensified the prosecution for families hiring undocumented workers.
- There is now criminal prosecution if you pay your domestic worker “under the table”, or if your domestic worker is not a U.S. citizen and I-9 work papers have not been filed with the government.
Substantial Government Fines
About 50% of U.S. states require families employing domestic workers to carry workers compensation insurance.
- A family can be liable for a penalty of $2,000 each day of non-payment of State required Worker’s Compensation Insurance. The family can also be responsible for providing both lost wages and medical costs. There can also be double, triple and quadruple penalties depending on the state.
Undocumented Workers Can Sue You
- The law allows undocumented workers to sue the family they work for, if the family has not filed I-9 work papers even if the worker has not filed tax returns, or doesn’t have a Social Security number, or has a false Social Security number.
- There are many cases where the former worker alleged she was sexually harassed, or lawsuits for wrongful termination based on race discrimination.
- A worker becoming aware that his/her employment is about to be terminated might fake an injury and sue the employer for medical expenses and his/her lost wages.
- Another example is where a domestic worker slips on a wet floor and sues, alleging poor lighting.
- Assume an undocumented worker is 20 years old; the household employer could be on the hook for an additional 40 years of unpaid wages.
Domestic worker lawsuits and government penalties can easily cost a family in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Homeowner’s Insurance Won’t Protect You
If payroll taxes are not paid for a domestic worker you hire on your own, and if they are considered by the government to be your employee, then your homeowner’s insurance policy will not protect you if your worker gets injured on your property, or causes property damage, or commits theft.
Relying on Referral Problems
Families often hire a domestic worker based on a friend’s recommendation. Maybe it was their friend’s housekeeper that made the recommendation. Because the family trusts their friend, and they decide not to get a background check. Then, their friend’s referral steals from the family, and a later background check reveals their friend’s referral has a history of theft.
Social Media Problems
Many families use social media to find their domestic worker. They may inadvertently let someone follow them on a social media site like LinkedIn or Facebook. That follower then sees who else is following that individual, and then provides a fictitious reference letter from one of the other followers that say she is a great housekeeper.
We Eliminate Your Risks of Hiring Your Own Workers
- We pay the housekeeper we refer you and you pay us. You do not control their pay rate.
- The Housekeeper we refer posts their available schedule online and you select the time that’s best for you.
- You pay the service charges to us and we pay the housekeeper.
- Every housekeeper we refer to you has passed a national background check, sex offender violations, state / county and more.