The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guarantees certain minimum wage and overtime standards applicable to virtually all U.S. employers. Not covered though – the hundreds of thousands of workers who tend to the sick and elderly in their homes.
Earlier this week, Representative Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) introduced legislation designed to change that. The Sanchez bill seeks to extend the FLSA to cover home care workers – including certified nursing assistants and home health aides – currently exempted by the FLSA. Many point to this exclusion as creating a home care workforce that earns less and works longer hours than most other professions, placing them amongst the lowest paying jobs in the county.
If afforded protections under the FLSA, home health care workers would be entitled to a federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour and overtime at a rate of one and one half times their regular rate of pay.
The Department of Labor also seeks to address the issue of those providing home health care aid – also called “companionship services” through new regulations, and has indicated that it will issue a proposed rule in October 2011.
As Georgia attorneys dedicated to employee’s rights, we will be following these developments closely and reporting on any changes to the FLSA in this blog.