New DOL rules extends overtime and minimum wage protection to home care workers

Overtime LawEffective January 1, 2015, home care workers will be entitled to receive at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay.

When the revised regulations regarding the companionship services become effective a year from now, workers who provide home care services, such as certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care aides, caregivers, and companions will be covered under the FLSA. This change in overtime law and minimum wage law will affect home care workers in Houston, Texas and throughout the nation.   The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

This is a significant change because for nearly 40 years, home care workers were exempted from overtime and minimum wage laws because their services were considered “companionship” under the FLSA.  Currently, Nurses, certified nurse aides, home health care aides, and other individuals providing home health care services fall within the term “domestic service employment.”

“Companionship services” means services for the care, fellowship, and protection of persons
who because of advanced age or physical or mental infirmity cannot care for themselves. Such services include
household work for aged or infirm persons including meal preparation, bed making, clothes washing and other
similar personal services. General household work is also included, as long as it does not exceed 20 percent of
the total weekly hours worked by the companion.

An employee who performs companionship services in a private home of the person that employs that person, is employed is exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements if all criteria of the exemption are met.  Until the new regulations comes into effect, the only way home workers can get minimum wage and overtime if if their general household duties exceed their companionship duties by over 20 percent.

For more information about the new regulations visit.

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