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Home Health Care Workers: FLSA Overtime Protections Up For Grabs

Posted on July 5, 2012 in
The United States Department of Labor has proposed a new rule that would enable many home health care workers to be protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime wage requirements. Under the proposed rule, home health care workers who are employed by third party agencies would be entitled to receive overtime compensation when they work more than 40 hours in a work week. Currently, home health care workers who are employed by third party agencies are not entitled to such protections. Despite often working long hours, such workers are not entitled to be paid overtime wages when they work more than forty hours. This is due to a Supreme Court decision in 2007, Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke, 551 U.S. 158. The Department of Labor's proposed new rule would overturn this anti-worker Supreme Court decision. Unfortunately, Republicans have very recently proposed a new law, the "Companionship Exemption Protection Act" which would preserve the unfavorable Supreme Court ruling and prevent low-wage home health care workers from receiving just compensation when they work more than 40 hours in a week. For a good article on the subject of the needed reforms to help workers see http://www.nelp.org/page/-/Justice/2011/FairPayforHomeCareWorkers.pdf?nocdn=.

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