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Babysitting Woes: What To Do When the Babysitter Falls

By Alexandra Gratereaux
Posted On Jun 20, 2016
Babysitting Woes: What To Do When the Babysitter Falls

What would you do if your handy dandy babysitter got into a slip-and-fall accident at your home? Would Home Insurance cover it? Can your babysitter seek legal counsel?

New You had the opportunity to sit with Kerri Swope—household tax connoisseur and the Senior Director at Care.com HomePay, so we can be in the know of how to handle our caretakers’ needs.

According to Swope, many people (whether they are the “employer” or “employee”), overlook important factors such as worker’s compensation.

“There are a lot of compliance regulations,” says Swope. “Worker’s compensation is a key piece. Many families do not have the background about it and they overlook that.”

Swope tells New You that worker’s compensation is required in 23 states for individuals who are babysitters and/or caretakers of sort. It is a consensus between the families and the workers and it is similar to insurance.

“For example, if the caregiver falls in the house, he/she will need coverage for medical [assistance] and lost wages,” says Swope. “It is the family’s responsibility to obtain that insurance policy.”

“If something were to happen, the ‘employee’ can file a worker’s comp claim and it can become a lawsuit,” Swope adds.

Another common mistake is thinking that one is already covered via other forms of insurance such as homeowner’s insurance.

Swope, who has been helping both families and caregivers for over 20 years, strongly believes all caretakers deserve fair pay and the same benefits that others receive.

“I get to help the community,” she says. “These professionals also need services such as Medicare and unemployment. Many people take these benefits for granted.”

“This is when Care.com HomePay comes in,” Swope adds. “A lot of families do not have an accounting department or human resources department. We understand this is all very complex.”

While anyone can obtain Swope’s services, she says most of the calls she receives are from families inquiring the dos and don’ts of having a full-time worker at home.

“IRS treats families who hire caretakers (this includes babysitters) like a business,” says Swope. They do this to keep them in line. We provide free advice and tools because we know it can be very stressful to find childcare for example.”

“I help families stay on top of the complexities with tax laws and labor laws, which are constantly changing,” she says. “It is important to know about the domestic worker’s bill of rights to help caregivers obtain the rights they deserve as professionals.”