Since 1975, the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) has provided an exemption for individuals providing what were deemed attendant care services from minimum wage and overtime. Later, the service of providing care in the home was referred to as private duty care, personal care, in-home care, elder care, or senior care. No matter the term used, it has always been assisting individuals in their place of residence, with their day-to-day living skills. As of November 12, 2015, the exemption has been removed by the Department of Labor and the current Administration.
The removal of this exemption will directly impact all individuals and families needing assistance in the home from a caregiver who is working through a third party or home care agency. As of the November date, all caregivers working through a third party employer will be required to be paid overtime for anything over 40 hours in a week. This means that if you have a need for more than 8 hours a day, 5 days a week you will see multiple caregivers coming through your home. If you need 24-hour around the clock care, you could be looking at a minimum of 4 or more people each week coming through your home. It will most likely be far more.
Then you get to the costs associated with these new Department of Labor rules! What was once a shift rate for a 24 hour time frame, it is now an hourly rate with 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep time required, or it becomes hourly for the 24 hour period. These costs run from $350 to $500 a day for 24 hour care in your home. As the costs continue to rise for minimum wage the Home Care Agencies will have to increase their costs to maintain their margins. Hourly rates are now going from $18.00 to $30.00 an hour, or more. The pay rate to caregivers range from $7.25 to $12.00.
Below are the links to the new rules found on the government sites. Please note as you read them there is still an exemption for families who hire an individually privately. Please make sure you consult with your attorney as you utilize the services of caregivers in your home on how to best protect yourself and them when services are rendered.