Healthcare Staffing Report: Sept. 19, 2013

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Rule brings minimum wage, overtime to homecare workers

A final rule to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to U.S. direct care workers was announced Sept. 17 by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Direct care workers include home health aides, personal care aides and certified nursing assistants. The Department of Labor estimates there are 1.9 million such workers in the U.S., and nearly all are employed by home care agencies

Fifteen states already extend state minimum wage and overtime protections to direct care workers, and six other states and the District of Columbia mandate state minimum wage protections.

The final rule also clarifies that direct care workers who perform medically related services for which training is typically a prerequisite are not companionship workers and therefore are entitled to the minimum wage and overtime. And individual workers who are employed only by the person receiving services or that person’s family and engaged primarily in activities such as providing company, visiting or engaging in hobbies will still be considered exempt from minimum wage and overtime protections.

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