Benefits For Injured Housekeepers And Cleaners
California has the most housekeepers and cleaners in America. There are almost 100,000 domestic workers in our state. If you were hurt while working in someone’s home, there are workers’ compensation regulations and deadlines you must follow to qualify.
It is important to understand California laws if you work as a housekeeper or cleaner. Our bilingual workers’ compensation attorneys at the Katzakian Law P.C. are ready to help you manage your legal issues and concerns.
Hazards and Risks Faced by Hotel Housekeepers
If you are a housekeeper in the California hospitality industry, some of your duties are likely intense and grueling. Hotels offer more and more amenities to their guests, resulting in increased workloads that can lead to serious workplace injuries. Safety agencies report a significant increase in occupational diseases and nonfatal injuries among hospitality employees. They say better safety training and ergonomic changes may prevent many injuries and illnesses.
Safety advocates state that proper training can teach housekeeping staff how to use their bodies in ways that can prevent musculoskeletal damage. A significant percentage of injuries result from overexertion and damage done to muscles and tendons.
Typical tasks of hotel room cleaners include vacuuming, dusting, changing linens and making beds. Your duties might include the turning of mattresses, some of which weigh more than 100 pounds. Cleaning mirrors and scrubbing bathrooms pose slip-and-fall hazards, and trash disposal can expose you to health risks. Your job could lead to any of the following injuries:
- Musculoskeletal injuries — Vacuuming, scrubbing, dusting at different levels, making beds and other tasks require your body to move in ways that could sprain, strain or tear muscles and tendons.
- Slips, trips and falls — Scrubbing bathtubs, showers and bathroom floors create ideal conditions for slip-and-fall accidents. Furthermore, when you have to carry bundles of linen, the restricted view may cause you to trip over other cleaning equipment, resulting in severe injuries.
- Respiratory illnesses — Repeated exposure to chemical cleaning agents can cause respiratory problems.
- Infectious diseases — Waste disposal can expose you to blood-borne pathogens on uncapped needles and broken glass, not to mention the hazards of cleaning up vomit or other body waste.
- Stress — Job insecurity, excessive workloads and other hazards may cause occupational stress.
More amenities bring more work and more hazards. Safety authorities suggest hotel cleaners take the following precautions:
- Changing linen and making beds — Prevent unnecessary muscle tension by standing close to the bed to avoid stretching and bending simultaneously. Ask for the help of a co-worker if you have to flip a mattress.
- Cleaning and scrubbing — Try to switch arms to avoid overexertion of the muscles and tendons of one arm.
- Pushing, pulling and carrying — When you push carts, pull heavy pieces of furniture and carry heavy objects, hold the weight in your midriff area because the area between your hips and chest has more strength.
Along with these measures, wearing comfortable shoes, eating healthy, exercising and sleeping well, may make you less susceptible to occupational injuries and illnesses. However, do not hesitate to report any injury or pain you experience. Delaying treatment may exacerbate the condition.
The California workers’ compensation insurance system may cover your medical expenses and lost wages if your injury causes absence from work — if you report the injury to your employer promptly. You may choose to utilize the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you receive the maximum amount of benefits to which you are entitled or to help you fight against any wrongfully denied claims.
Protect Yourself If You Were Hurt On The Job
If you are employed as a housekeeper or cleaner and you were hurt on your job, you could have ongoing bills and expenses. Your employer’s liability will depend on your employment classification. Are you an employee or a contractor?
- If you were hired directly, and your work is controlled by the home or property owner, you are probably their employee. In this case, workers’ compensation insurance is required.
- If you work for a company that employs someone to work in homes, or you work in several homes, you are probably a contractor. In you are a contractor, the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance probably provides coverage for your injuries.
The Number of Hours You Work Matters Too.
If you work a minimum of 52 hours in 90 days and earn at least $100, you qualify for workers’ compensation insurance. Occasional or part-time workers might be covered by your employer’s homeowner’s insurance.
Workers’ compensation insurance can protect employers against lawsuits. If your employer does not have insurance, a lawsuit might be necessary. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help you manage the details.
Understand Your Requirements
You have 30 days from the date you found out about the injury to file the necessary forms and notices. In most cases, the clock starts the day you were hurt. However, if you suffered a long-term injury, you have 30 days from the date of the diagnosis.
California also requires workers’ compensation coverage for undocumented immigrant workers who qualify as employees.
The details of your case matter. If you are a housekeeper or a cleaner, you are probably covered by workers’ compensation. You do not want to miss deadlines or requirements.
Workers’ Compensation Assistance When and Where You Need It
The Katzakian Law P.C. has several offices throughout California. Email us or call 888-724-4138 to reach our offices in San Jose, Stockton, Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Salinas and Santa Cruz.