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Home Care Workers Must Receive Overtime, Colorado Federal Judge Rules

Home health care workers must receive overtime compensation under Colorado law, a federal judge ruled. The workers, who work inside the homes of sick and elderly clients, have long been the subject of dispute over their overtime status. The United States Supreme Court in 2007 ruled that such workers need not receive overtime under federal law. But certain states provide greater protection than federal law. Yesterday’s ruling centered on whether Colorado’s labor law provided such additional protection for home care workers. A class of home health care workers who did not receive overtime sued their employer, Bayada Home Health Care, arguing that Colorado law required time-and-a-half overtime compensation on all hours worked over 40 per week. Judge Christine Arguello ruled in favor of the employees, finding that Colorado’s labor laws required that overtime be paid if the worker is employed by a third-party business. The Court stressed that workers employed directly by an individual or family need not receive overtime.

Counsel for the workers expressed satisfaction with the ruling. “Home health workers perform an important and difficult job providing personal and necessary care to the sick and elderly. They deserve the same protections as other workers, and we are pleased that the court agreed.”

The case is Kennett v. Bayada Home Health Care, Inc., No. 14-cv-02005 (D. Colo. 2015). The workers are represented by Rachhana T. Srey and Adam Hansen of Nichols Kaster, PLLP.

More information on this case can be viewed here.