Today, the US Department of Labor issued a proposed regulation to eliminate the “companion exemption” for in-home and live in caregivers. The rule is entitled Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to Domestic Service. The minimum wage and overtime rules would, if enacted, apply to all live in and day workers who assist the elderly and infirm in their own homes.
In-home care is one of the fastest growing occupations in the US, owing to the aging population and the cost of institutions for those unable to live on their own. Home Care Staffing companies would be required to pay employees for all hours on premise and to pay time and a half after 40 hours a week, even if the care giver is off duty, but available on call.
This is expected to have a major impact on the positions of unskilled workers and on the cost of keeping people in their own homes.