Labor Dept. Mandates OT Pay, Minimum Wage For Home Health Workers

The Obama administration approved new rules that beginning Jan. 1, 2015, extend minimum wage and overtime payment to nearly 2 million home healthcare workers. Many in the mostly female and minority workforce are paid more than federal minimum wage, now $7.25 an hour, but don't get time-and-a-half when they work more than 40 hours a week. 

The New York Times: U.S. To Include Home Care Aides In Wage And Overtime Law
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 (Greenhouse, 9/17).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Home Health Care Workers Could See Higher Wages Under New Rules Extending Minimum Wage, OT Pay
The Obama administration approved new rules Tuesday that extend minimum wage and overtime pay to nearly 2 million home health care workers who help the elderly and disabled with everyday tasks such as bathing, eating or taking medicine (9/17).

The Wall Street Journal: Labor Department Adds Protections for Home-Health-Care Workers
The Labor Department's new rule will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Many home-health workers already are paid more than the federal minimum wage—currently $7.25 an hour—but don't get paid time-and-a-half when they work more than 40 hours a week. Many have no health-care coverage themselves, the Labor Department said (Trottman and Maher, 9/18).

Kaiser Health News: Labor Dept. Mandates Minimum Wage, Overtime Pay For Home Health Workers
The U. S. Department of Labor issued new rules Tuesday that mandate home health care agencies pay their workers the minimum wage and receive overtime pay starting in 2015. "Almost 2 million home care workers are doing critical work, providing services to people with disabilities and senior citizens who want to live in community settings and age in place in their familiar surroundings," said Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez (Jaffe, 9/17).

Bloomberg: Obama Extends Minimum Wage To 2 Million Home Health Aides
Overturning a decades-old exemption, the U.S. Department of Labor has extended minimum wage and overtime benefits to the mostly female and minority workforce of nearly 2 million home health-care workers. The Fair Labor Standards Act will be extended to direct care workers, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters (Efstathiou, 9/18).

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