Home Health & Hospice

Q: As a new homecare administrator, what should I be aware of in regard to employment laws?

Homecare Insider, September 30, 2013

Q: As a new homecare administrator, what should I be aware of in regard to employment laws? How can I ensure that our agency remains in compliance?

A: The numbers of federal and state laws that govern employment are vast, and an employer’s failure to follow those laws can result in liability for a business and even its failure to survive. Some of the more common areas of significant liability include: independent contractor versus employee, minimum wage and overtime pay, wage payment and deduction laws, required leaves of absence, non-discrimination laws, employment at will, vested vacation and sick pay, OSHA, and noncompetition agreements. Because employment laws are complex, it’s important to consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance.

Most jobs are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), but some are excluded, and some are considered “exempt.” Employees who are governed by the FLSA are either “exempt” or “nonexempt.” Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay, and exempt employees are not. With a few exceptions, exempt employees must meet several requirements outlined in the FLSA regulations based on salary and duties—and those requirements are quite complex.