Home Care Workers get new Labor Rights from FLSA

HR Resource
September 25, 2013 — 2,512 views  
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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is about to see some additions with regard to the conditions and protection offered to those who work as home care workers. Under the Act, there was a loophole called ‘companionship exemption’, which  granted neither extra pay for overtime duty, nor a minimum wage for people employed in home care.

The 2011 clause will finally be undone so that these workers can avail the same rights and benefits as those working in any other sector of the economy. Many people await this amendment as it will make working conditions far better for these employees.

Important Points to Note under this Amendment

There are a few things to keep in mind under this change in law. There are a few who are against this, especially those who are in the business as owners of homes and centers. A minimum wage level and payment for overtime would mean a large increase in the expenses in running these organizations. However, there are a number of reasons why the law should change as planned.

First of all, the health care industry is doing extremely well. Working in a sector, which is currently booming, should mean that there will be an increment in the amount of money that is made by individual employees as well, and not only the business owners. Also, home care workers provide a very necessary service to society, yet make very little out of their jobs. It is difficult for most people working at lower levels within this industry to earn a decent living out of their professions.

Working Conditions and Wage Rates of Employees

Quite a few workers have reported working for a hundred hours a week at a meager pay of eight dollars an hour, discounting overtime. This means that although they work as around-the-clock employees, they are paid at poverty wage levels, and not even paid for the extra time they spend caring for disadvantaged people.

Another startling trend in this industry is the fact that most of the people who work with disabled or aged people in homes are those of color, or women. This goes to show how extreme disadvantages for some people in society and could insinuate certain gender and racially based biases in the system. The change that is to be made will even-out the platform for many people.

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