As a home health aide, Nicole Fletcher, 40, provides personal assistance to the elderly, disabled and those living with chronic conditions in their own homes. She assists them with activities of daily living – including bathing, dressing and eating – and, on occasion, she often stays to help them overnight.
“Sometimes there will be 24-hour cases because the client needs care and cannot be left alone depending on their condition,” she said.
Working for a District of Columbia-based company, she earns more than the minimum wage and is paid time-and-a-half for every hour she works beyond her usual 40 per week. But unlike Fletcher, close to 2 million in-home care workers and personal care aides in the United States don’t always get paid for overtime work or receive minimum wage, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They are explicitly excluded from a key federal wage law that carved out exceptions for causal babysitters and companions for people who are sick or disabled. (more…)