Home Health & Hospice

Final Rule Provides Minimum Wage and Overtime Protection to Home Health Workers

Homecare Insider, September 30, 2013

On September 17, the United States Department of Labor issued a final rule mandating that home health agencies and third party employers pay their direct care workers minimum wage and overtime, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This final rule is effective on a January 1, 2015.

Under current regulations, the nearly two million homecare workers in the U.S. were exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirement because the services they provide were considered to be “companionship services.” The final rule clarifies the term “companionship services,” which now applies only to fellowship and protection for a senior citizen or a person with a disability. The final rule states:

“The term 76 FR 81193. companionship services also includes the provision of care if the care is provided attendant to and in conjunction with the provision of fellowship and protection and if it does not exceed 20 percent of the total hours worked per person and per workweek. The provision of care means to assist the person with activities of daily living (such as dressing, grooming, feeding, bathing, toileting, and transferring) and instrumental activities of daily living, which are tasks that enable a person to live independently at home (such as meal preparation, driving, light housework, managing finances, assistance with the physical taking of medications, and arranging medical care).”

The final rule applies to all third party employers, including home health agencies and home care staffing agencies.

To read the final rule, click here.