Caring for adults who need special assistance, such as the elderly or disabled, is noble and challenging work. The physical demands of performing household duties, bathing, grooming and otherwise ensuring a patient's well-being should not be downplayed by home care aide employers.
Unfortunately, many hardworking individuals who provide this invaluable care and service have long been underpaid and not given the legal protections they need in employment law.
At Alan Lescht and Associates, P.C., we respect the work you do. That is why our attorneys are committed to finding legal remedies for home care aides who have wage disputes with their employers.
More Protections For Home Care Aide Workers
For a long time, the "companionship exemption" in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has allowed home health care industry employers to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime to certain employees. This exemption has always been dependent on the nature of the work performed, but it failed to provide specific guidelines for employee classification. Thus, many home aide workers have been underpaid and taken advantage of by their employers.
Fortunately, on October 1, 2013, a final ruling was made by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to narrow the "companionship exemption," thereby making more workers eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay. This will take effect beginning January 1, 2015.
The exemption now only applies to workers who spend 20 percent or less of their work time providing care that is instrumental to the patient's daily living. Many home care aide workers spend far more of their time providing this care, which includes:
- Dressing and grooming
- Light housework
- Feeding and meal preparation
- Assistance with taking medication and arranging medical care
- Toileting and transferring
Home care industry employers will try to argue that this ruling will only harm workers because of elevated labor costs. Keep in mind that this industry continues to grow and be profitable — and even did so through the recession. You do not deserve to be underpaid or to be retaliated against through demotions or firing for speaking up about your right to fair wages.
Make Sure Your Wages And Overtime Pay Are Correct
Let us help you. Discuss your case with an experienced lawyer at our firm by arranging a free consultation online or by telephone at 202-536-3315. We work with clients in Washington, D.C., and throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia.