Work for private household precludes nursing assistant from receiving benefits
Case name: Massey v. Spasser, No. ED94060 (Mo. Ct. App. 07/13/10).
Ruling: The Missouri Court of Appeals held that a nursing assistant was ineligible for benefits because she was a domestic servant.
What it means: A domestic servant employed in a private home is specifically excluded from coverage by the Missouri workers' compensation law.
A certified nursing assistant was hired to provide care for a sick man in his home. She worked a set shift and was paid by the man and his wife. While attempting to move the man from his wheelchair to a recliner, the nurse's knees buckled, and she injured her back. The nurse underwent medical treatment and the man's wife refused to pay for her medical bills. The Missouri Court of Appeals held that the nurse was not entitled to workers' comp benefits.
Certain employees are excluded from coverage by the Missouri workers' compensation law. This includes domestic servants employed in a private home. The man and his wife argued that the nurse was a domestic servant employed in their private home. The court consulted a legal dictionary to define domestic servant as "a household servant" and a servant as "a person who is employed by another to do work under the control and directions of the employer." The court found that the nurse was under the control and directions of the man and his wife because she was formally interviewed, required to work a set shift, and paid by the man and his wife. The court noted that the workers' compensation law "was not intended to apply to work done in private homes to care for members of private households."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
October 7, 2010
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