If my brother and I are hiring a church friend to come and care for my 82 year old mother at my mother’s house, what are out legal responsibilities?

UPDATED: Mar 6, 2012

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If my brother and I are hiring a church friend to come and care for my 82 year old mother at my mother’s house, what are out legal responsibilities?

The church friend works about 30 hours per week. What are our liabilities and responsibilities in this situation. For example, are we responsible to provide unemployment insurance or benefits, medical insurance benefits, disability benefits? Also what about on the job injury to the employee? What should we do to protect ourselves?

Asked on March 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment law attorney to make sure you fully cover your basis, especially since each situation is different. That said, as a general matter:

1) You do need to pay into unemployment, worker's compensation, and state disability.

2) You do need to withhold taxes (FICA).

3) You do not need to provide paid time off (such as sick or vacation days), health insurance, or retirement benefits--it's voluntary to provide these.

4) You really should get the appropriate insurance, to protect you against any liability he incurs (e.g, say that while driving your mother to a doctor's appointmentt, he runs into someone).

Because 1) and 2) above can get complicated, you may wish to have some payroll service, like or similar to ADP, handle paying him; then just need to provide the money, rather than calculate taxes and withholding and file them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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