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Workers' Compensation Not Always an Option for Domestic Workers

Typically when a worker is injured on the job, they will amass hospital bills and lose wages during their recovery time. For many, they can get workers' compensation that can help alleviate some of that financial strain.

But a recent study from the University of Colorado-Denver has brought attention to a group of workers who do not have the same benefits as other workers. The research found that domestic workers in Colorado are not being afforded the same worker protection that others enjoy.

Domestic workers are often treated differently. They are mostly female and over half are paid less than minimum wage. In some situations there have been reports of abuse at the workplace, with no real solution offered to stop the abuse. In addition, most do not receive paid time off or overtime.

Another thing that is different for many domestic workers is that they often cannot receive any benefits if they are injured and cannot work. The article gives the example of a woman who has been working for a great family, but does not get a sick leave to recover from an injury.

This brings up a question: why don't domestic workers have the same protections as other workers? Even though much of their work takes place in other people's homes, they are still doing work every day.

Domestic workers argue that they should have the same protections that other workers have. If they are injured, they should be able to take time off to heal and receive workers' compensation benefits. Advocates for the workers hope that Colorado becomes the next state to provide domestic workers' rights.

Source: MSN Money online, "Domestic worker rights sought in Colorado," The Associated Press, 03 December 2010

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