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What happens to housekeepers who get hurt on the job?

Working as a professional housekeeper or cleaner can be an entry-level job where someone can support themselves and the people they love. Depending on the circumstances, it can be a job with benefits or a company that you own, allowing you to pick your hours and your clients.

However, housework, cleaning and maintenance can be very physically demanding. It is possible for someone to slip while dusting a shelf or hurt themselves with cleaning chemicals by accident in the course of doing their work. If the injuries are bad enough, that could mean missing out on days or weeks of work and wages.

If you are a residential cleaner or housekeeper, when you get hurt on someone else’s property, that may impact what kind of insurance or compensation you have available. Your employment circumstances will directly impact the type of compensation you have available to you.

Are you a direct employee of a cleaning service company?

If you slip on a freshly mopped floor or fall down the stairs of a client’s house, you may have injuries that will keep you from performing the physical duties related to housekeeping or cleaning for many weeks.

The worse the injury, the greater your medical expenses and the longer you will go without wages. If you work as the direct employee of a cleaning company contracted by individual homeowners, you will likely have the option to file a workers’ compensation claim for your injury and lost wages.

Are you self-employed or an independent contractor?

If you run your own small business, are self-employed or work as an independent contractor either for a cleaning company or individual clients, you may not have workers’ compensation benefits available. However, you may have your own work insurance policy that protects you from losses, including injuries on the job. If you do not have any insurance, then you may have to look to the homeowner or clients for compensation.

Homeowner’s insurance may cover your injuries

When someone lets you onto their property, they put themselves at risk of premises liability. If you get hurt on their property, in theory, their homeowner’s insurance should cover the costs that you incur. In cases where the insurance refuses to pay, a lawsuit may even become necessary. Holding a client or homeowner responsible isn’t the ideal scenario for a professional cleaner, but it may be the only option.