Labor Dept. in minimum-wage catch-22 for home health care workers

the Department is now putting that decision on ice while it sees if it can get an industry-wide ruling from the Supreme Court. Previously, home health care workers — who primarily take care of elderly patients in their own homes — were generally thought to be employed through agencies or directly by the family itself, and were therefore exempt from federal minimum wage standards. In 2014, a U.S. District Court ruled that overtime and minimum wage should be extended to all home care workers, whether they worked for a third-party agency or an individual, and President Obama has continued to argue for reform of overtime policies. However, the Department of Labor has received pushback from industry organizations such as the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and the Home Care Association of America. These organizations assert that increasing minimum wage and providing overtime wages will be a detriment to those individuals or families that employ the home care workers, and have requested that the ruling not be put into effect until they can appeal it to the Supreme Court. Because of this request, the Department awaits a mandate from the appeals court; once it receives that decision, it must wait 30 days before implementing a wide-scale pay raise for home care workers. There is no clear expectation for when that mandate will come.]]>

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