About Time: New Fair Labor Rule Gives Home Care Workers Get Wage Protection

Home Health Aide Makes a Bed For A PatientWell its about time. We have always prided ourselves on paying our home care workers and home health aides (HHA) above market rates, but apparently greed gets in the way for other companies. So we are pleased to announce that the Obama administration will no longer allow that practice, making minimum wage laws apply to home care workers, like the rest of the work force.

Until this rule, home care workers were compared to babysitters, who do not fall under the Fair Wage and Standards Act’s minimum wage policies. This distinction comes at an important time with home care workers on the rise as seniors who need in-home assistance rise. In our opinion, the work our home health aides do is much harder and more labor intensive than a babysitter. We are happy this administration finally sees it our way and makes the distinction.

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it was extending minimum wage and overtime protections to the nation’s nearly two million home care workers.

Advocates for low-wage workers have pushed for this change, asserting that home care workers, who care for elderly and disabled Americans, were wrongly classified into the same “companionship services” category as baby sitters — a group that is exempt from minimum wage and overtime coverage. Under the new rule, home care aides, unlike baby sitters, would be covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the nation’s main wage and hour law.

In an unusual move, the administration said the new regulation would not take effect until Jan. 1, 2015, even though regulations often take effect 60 days after being issued. The delay until 2015 is to give families that use these attendants, as well as state Medicaid programs, time to prepare.

Sadly, the new regulation will not take effect until Jan 1, 2015. Which still gives these underpaying companies time to skirt under the law. But a change is coming, and we are happy to see it. 

For more information about becoming a Home Health Aide or to hire a Home Health Aide in the Philadelphia area, Bucks County, and/or Montgomery County, please contact Forever Young Home Health Care at info@foreveryoungPA.com or (267) 288-5496.

Source: New York Times

Source: Department of Labor