Posts Tagged ‘Fair Labor Standards Act’

Home Care Workers Still Waiting For Labor Protections After Promise From Obama

June 26, 2013

By Dave Jamieson, The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON – In December of 2011, President Barack Obama stood at the White House alongside a group of home care workers and announced that his administration would extend minimum wage and overtime protections to them after decades of exclusion. The White House still has a video on its YouTube channel explaining the significance of the regulatory change, entitled “A Promise Kept.”

But in reality, the president hasn’t yet delivered on that promise. A year and a half after the fanfare, home care workers who tend to the elderly and disabled in their homes are still not covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Depression-era statute that serves as a bedrock of U.S. labor law. The president’s proposal remains under review at the White House, where industry players have lobbied to have it softened, if not scrapped. (more…)

Companionship Services Exemption: A Deadline Missed

June 19, 2013

By Jane Gross, Special to The New York Times

Legions of home health aides continue to toil for less than minimum wage, the only American workers not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. More than a month has passed since May 14, when President Obama could have ended this exclusion and, with the stroke of a pen, forced a new regulation into effect. All legal deadlines and extensions in this sclerotic regulatory process have been exhausted. (more…)

Home Care Workers Demand Minimum Wage, Overtime Protections

June 12, 2013

By Elise Viebeck, The Hill

Home care workers are demanding final rules from the Obama administration that would give them federal minimum wage and overtime protections.

The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), which represents home health aides, certified nurse aides and personal care attendants, called on President Obama to extend the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act to its members.

The group pointed to Obama’s promise in December 2011 to ensure home health jobs offer the same wage-and-hour standards as other healthcare posts. (more…)

Home Care Workers Decry Lack of Wage Protection

April 18, 2013

It’s been a few months since President Barack Obama pledged to extend federal minimum wage and overtime protections to the nation’s 2.5 million home care workers – but the regs are still bottled up. A group of stakeholders and advocates are tired of waiting – they’re releasing a report and holding a conference call Thursday to push for action. (more…)

Need for In-Home Care Projected to Soar

March 18, 2013

By Ana Veciana-Suarez, The Miami Herald

Every morning for the last seven years, Fanie Occeas has been preparing Prescola Beneby a hearty weekday breakfast — grits and sardines or sausage and eggs. Every morning, too, Occeas bathes the 87-year-old, tidies up her Arcola Lakes house and settles her in a wheelchair.

Their banter is easy, their movements together familiar and sure. “She’s like a daughter to me,” says Beneby.

Adds Occeas, “I’ve learned a lot from her.”

Occeas is a certified nursing assistant who looks in on Beneby and three other homebound seniors during her rounds for her employer, United HomeCare. Beneby is a mother of six, bedridden because of rheumatoid arthritis. The two are part of a trend that experts say will become very common as the nation’s population ages and more seniors choose to stay at home instead of moving to nursing facilities.

The number of people age 65 and older will double to 81 million in the next 30 years and the demand for nonmedical home-based help — for daily activities such as dressing, bathing and meal preparation — is expected to soar. In the past four years alone, there has been a 40 percent growth in U.S. senior care agencies, according to, a company that connects seniors and professional caregivers with care options. More than 4,000 caregivers are hired monthly. (more…)

NAHC Meets with the Office of Management and Budget on Companionship Services Rule

February 15, 2013

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is in the process of reviewing the final rule drafted by the US Department of Labor (DoL) that would change the standards for applying the “companionship services” exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On January 15, 2013, the White House cleared the rule and forwarded it to OMB for its required review. (more…)

Labor Department Sends Home Health Companionship Final Rule to OMB

February 12, 2013

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sent a memo to members of Congress stating that the rule that would extend federal minimum wage and overtime protections to in-home health care workers, is pending in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

DOL has finished reviewing the 9,000 public comments on the proposed rule, which was issued on December 27, 2011 and has prepared a draft final rule that has been accepted by OMB, normally the final step before a rule is published. OMB now has 90 days to issue the final rule. (more…)

NPR: Health Care Aides Await Labor Decision On Minimum Wage

February 4, 2013

Home health care aides are waiting to find out if they will be entitled to receive minimum wage. A decades-old amendment in labor law means that the workers, approximately 2.5 million people, do not always receive minimum wage or overtime.

The Obama administration has yet to formally approve revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would change that classification.

On Dec. 15, 2011, Obama announced the proposal, and then-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis offered her support for the revisions in the Labor Department’s blog:

“This new rule would ensure that these hardworking professionals who provide valuable services to American families would receive the protections of minimum wage and overtime pay that nearly every employee in the United States already receives under the FLSA.”

The guidelines would affect a growing industry (revenues for home health care services nearly doubled to $55 billion between 2001 and 2009, according to the U.S. Census). (more…)

Home Care Workers Urge Obama to Deliver on Wage Protection Pledge

December 14, 2012

Last December, President Obama said he would extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers. This past summer, the U.S. Department of Labor released the proposed rule that would effectively remove the companionship services exemption, and Congress responded by introducing legislation to preserve the exemption. In a letter yesterday, the National Employment Law Project wonders when President Obama’s pledge is actually going to happen. (more…)

Home Care Workers Still Waiting for Promised Wage Increase, Overtime

August 8, 2012
By Tony Pugh, McClatchy News Service
  Judy Harris, from left, listens to client David Hoffman on Saturday, August 4, 2012, in Port Orchard, Washington. Harris, 69, works for multiple clients as a home-health-care provider. Hoffman, 50, was burned in a work-related explosion. (Kevin Fujii/MCT)

A sense of unease is building among advocates for nearly 2 million workers who help the elderly and disabled live independently in their homes. Because of a 38-year-old amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, home health aides and personal care aides in many states can be paid less than the federal minimum wage — $7.25 an hour — and not receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. (more…)