Beginning next January 2015 home health care workers will be covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. This change in the law will affect the nearly 2 million home care workers who make up one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.
Currently, the FLSA covers nearly all workers who work for a wage in this country and provides valuable protections such as requiring they be paid minimum wage and for all non-exempt workers, receive overtime wages at the rate of one and one-half their standard rate of pay for every hour worked in excess of 40 hours in any work week.
If you have any wage and hour questions or are concerned that you are not getting paid all the compensation you deserve, it is important consult with a top Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away.
One group that has been excluded from the FLSA protections has been home health care workers. However, beginning in 2015 (earlier in some states) workers such as personal care aides, caregivers and, certified nursing assistants who have been excluded will now be included. This necessary change will bring justice to those low-income workers who have been excluded for too long.
The amendment to the FLSA changes how “companionship services,” is defined, and narrows the number of people covered under this exemption. Companionship services generally means work inside the home for people who can’t care for themselves as the result of old age or advanced sickness, and includes things such as cooking, bed making, laundry and other domestic services – as long as the amount of time spent doing this isn’t more than 20% of your time. If you spend more than 20% of your total weekly hours doing this type of work for an employer, you may be entitled to pay in accordance with the minimum and overtime requirements of the FLSA.
Further, live-in domestic help may also be entitled to minimum wage pay as well.
The new amendments may be confusing, but are meant to extend significant employment protections to millions more Americans who are providing vital services, but are often underpaid. If you have question and want to ensure you understand your rights under the FLSA, and are paid what you deserve, it’s important to consult with a skilled Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away.