Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Judge strikes down wage rule for home health workers

Last week regulations that would have extended overtime and minimum way pay to home healthcare workers were thrown out by a federal district judge.

For more than 40 years, businesses that offer home care services have been exempt from having to pay their employees minimum wage or overtime. However, last year the Department of Labor issued a new rule that takes away these exemptions.

According to an article by The Hill, The Department of Labor ruling determines that care can't be more than 20 percent of a home health companion employee's daily duties. Thus, allowing home health workers for the elderly and disabled to accompany their client after 40 hours a week, but not help them.

The Labor Department said it has 60 days to appeal the ruling, but starting Jan. 1 the revisions to the definition of companionship services will go into effect.

"The district court’s opinion did not address this regulatory provision," the department said in a statement. "Therefore, as of January 1, all employers of home care workers, including third party employers, will be obligated to consider the duties such workers perform in evaluating whether they must pay wages in compliance with the minimum wage and overtime requirements."

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