A caregiver stole from my home and the agency said that it is between me and the worker. Isn't the agency liable?

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Of critical importance when selecting an organization that is "providing" home care is determining whether the organization is a "licensed home health care agency" or a "nurse registry". Most seeking such services do not understand the importance of the difference.

In the case of the former, the home health aide is an employee of the company and is (hopefully) insured and bonded through the agency. Still, the contract entered into rules.

In the case of the latter, the home health aide is an independent contractor and is responsible for their own liability insurance and bonding. Typically, a nurse registry is just that and does not provide any liability protection.

Caveat emptor.
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Reply to Ralph Robbins
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FeedupUSA Jul 19, 2018
Thank you. The agency is lisense by the state. Wrote several letters. They refused to respond. Suing in small claims. They have had several names changes. There is a middle non for profit involved who recommended and monitor the agency also refuse to respond to my letters and phone calls.
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I don't know if they are liable or not but I want to encourage you to file a police report and have this person charged so that anyone who asks for a criminal background in the future check knows the kind of person they are.
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FeedupUSA Jul 19, 2018
Did that. Police stated limited resources to be involve.
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Something to consider should you be on Medicaid, when filing a police report and disclosing the value of missing item. If it qualifies as an asset set forth by Medicaid and the value exceeds the asset value Medicaid sets forth it may possibly become an issue.
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Reply to SamSpade
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FeedupUSA, first you need to be 100% sure the item was stolen and not misplaced or given to a relative/friend.

I remember back when I was cleaning out my parents house, my Mom has a really nice second engagement ring which I always thought was in her and Dad's bank safe deposit box as Mom rarely wore it. Well, it wasn't in the safe deposit box but my rings were there.

Heavens know where that ring went. My Dad had around the clock caregivers, but I couldn't point a finger at any of them, for who knows maybe my Mom gave the ring to a relative, or she had lost it.

Nothing else of value was ever missing, as Dad had a habit of leaving his wallet on his desk. He always had $25 in it, and any time I visited, I would check his wallet. Money was always there.

The caregivers my Dad had were bonded, so they were covered for such things like this. But like I said, you need 100% proof it was a caregiver.
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FeedupUSA Jul 19, 2018
Thank you . But your story does not relate to mine. The Items were not yours but your parents.

Victims know their own stuff and when things are missing or when they have been violated.
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Just remembered: the doctrine is "respondeat superior."

There's a good explanation by Cornell Law School:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/respondeat_superior

And blending CW's and FF's advice, first get your documentation and proofs together, then file a police report. I haven't decided if you should give the Agency another chance first though. Something to think about.

Do you mind providing information on the stolen items? Under a certain value, it might be misdemeanor, or above that value, a felony charge.

You'll have to present a good case and justification for police to act, so be prepared to do that.

BTW, what background checks does the agency do? Was it represented that the caregivers had been checked at local, state and federal level for criminal activity?
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FeedupUSA Jul 19, 2018
Victims should also do searches under the civil court.
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There used to be a legal doctrine with "superior" in the description. Might have been caveat superior. I'm not really sure though. (I'll wake up in the middle of the night and remember it.) It addressed responsibility by an employer for an employee.

Under that doctrine, the agency would be responsible.

Note, however, that some agencies include clauses that they're secifically not responsible in situations like this. I learned that when I was trying to find a private duty agency with a decent contract.

If private duty caregiving ever gets the attention of the legal community, that's an issue that should be addressed so that any assertion of it in the contract would be considered inconsistent with statutory or case law.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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This was my experience.....the owner of the caregiver agency told us during the contract signing that the employees were bonded and made us feel pretty comfortable about the issue. However, when the theft occurred, I was told the burden of proof was on me, which I could not provide. (Should have had cameras in mom's home.) So when we went to report this person to law enforcement, we found out that the caregiver was not a US citizen and had already hightailed it back to the Philippines. Horrible experience. Agency could not be held accountable at all.
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Reply to kwyattearp
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This is a shame. Good answers above. Does this agency assert that their caregivers are bonded and insured? I think that’s usually the case, and if so maybe you can pursue the person on those factors - her insurance, or the money in the bond? Good luck.
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Reply to Zdarov
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Over here, the agency would be considered to be "vicariously liable."

And even if the agency's contract attempted to exclude liability in its contract, that could be challenged - exclusion clauses have to be reasonable.

What does the contract say about what steps the agency takes to check the backgrounds of the workers it supplies?

Have you had an opportunity to sort this out with the actual culprit, though?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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You should file a police report and the agency should file a DPH report on the aide with the state.
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