Expanding Wage Protections for Home Health Aides

By Jack Newhouse

As the number of baby boomers entering retirement increases, so do the wages for many home healthcare workers.  The Department of Labor’s Final Rule, which went into effect on January 1, 2015, limits the “companionship services” exemption to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements to home health aides directly employed by an individual, family, or household.  Those home health aides employed by a third-party, such as an agency or a hospital will now be entitled to minimum wage and overtime.  Although New York State law already required third-party employers to pay home health aides overtime compensation at 1.5 times the minimum wage rate, the Final Rule will increase the amount of overtime third-party employers must pay to 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly wage.

For more on the Department of Labor’s Final Rule, see http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfsFinalRule.pdf

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