The Federal Department of Labor announced that they have finalized a new rule that brings the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act to home health care workers. The rule will go into place January 1st, 2015. The DOL’s website has a lot more information on how the rule will be implemented and whom the new law applies.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, home health care workers who provide services to the sick and elderly inside the patients’ own home are not currently covered by the FLSA and are not entitled to minimum wage or overtime when they work over 40 hours in a week. The biggest change in the new regulations is that home health care workers employed by a third party are now always covered by the FLSA. This means that any home health care worker employed by an agency that sends the worker out to clients’ homes will be owed minimum wage and overtime once the law goes into effect January 2015.
This change is long overdue. Home health care work is a growing field and with the ageing of the US population it will only become more common. This is a good move by the Department of Labor and it will help hundreds of thousands of workers around the nation.