The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division issued a final rule last week that extends minimum wage and overtime protections to certain direct care workers who provide services to the elderly, ill, and disabled. The final rule establishes that in-home care workers employed by agencies and other third parties are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. According to the DOL’s official blog, almost two million workers will be affected.
The final rule clarifies that direct care workers who perform medically-related services, for which training is typically a prerequisite, are not exempt companionship workers and are therefore entitled to minimum wage and overtime. Those employed by a person receiving services—or that person’s family—are still considered exempt from minimum wage and overtime protection unless they are performing medically-related duties or are providing more than a limited amount of care. According to the DOL’s news release, prior to this change direct care workers only had minimum wage and overtime protections in fifteen states.
This rule will go into effect on January 1, 2015. The DOL created a new web portal to help workers, families and employers understand the new requirements.