On September 17, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a final rule that will extend overtime and minimum wage protections to many direct care workers. The rule is set to go into effect on January 1, 2015.
When the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) was enacted, it did not protect workers employed directly by households in domestic service. Congress amended the FLSA in 1974 to apply to employees performing household services in a private home. However, that amendment did not apply to certain workers, such as domestic service workers employed to provide “companionship services” to elderly persons or persons with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities. With the DOL’s new rule, many direct care workers, such as certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care aides, and other caregivers will be subject to the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA.