Department of Labor Regulations for Home Care Workers
Every day across our nation, almost two million home care workers support the independence of people with disabilities and seniors.
Yet in many states, home care workers are paid less than minimum wage and denied overtime pay.
That’s why NDWA, Caring Across Generations, and allies across the country organized to win basic labor protections and honor the important role home care workers play in our economy and society. In 2013, we won a landmark victory when the Department of Labor (DOL) released new regulations to cover homecare workers under federal minimum wage and overtime protections.
The rule changes were set to go into effect on January 1, 2015, but big homecare corporations filed a lawsuit to block the changes. Now states are using the lawsuit as an excuse to delay implementation.
We can’t afford delay. The lack of basic labor protections for home care workers hurts workers and consumers. The average wage for a homecare worker in the United States is less than $20,000 a year. Lack of basic labor protections causes a 50% turnover rate and leaves those who do stay in the industry unable to take care of their own families. Both home care workers’ dignity and the independence of people who rely on home care are on the line.
Our Governors need to honor the Department of Labor regulations. We need each state to come up with a plan to implement workplace protections for home care workers, including a budget that meets the needs of all of us who live, work, and age in our communities.
Home care workers—overwhelmingly immigrant women and women of color—do important, demanding, and skilled work to enable individuals to live independently at home. Seniors, people with disabilities, and our whole communities count on their work. Minimum wage and overtime pay are long overdue for homecare workers.
Join us to hold our states accountable to the DOL homecare ruling and urge our governors to make their plans for implementation public now.
Infographic: Pitting Grandma Against Her Caregiver
Check out this new inforgraphic from NDWA and the Institute for Policy Studies.
On October 13, 2015, the Department of Labor Home Care Rules (the “Rules”) went into effect. Here are resources from NELP and our partners that explain the Rule. We look forward to being a resource as states and employers implement the rule in a way that fulfills the requirements and creates better jobs and quality of care for workers and consumers.
- National Employment Law Project’s resources:
- A jointly-authored fact sheet, U.S. Department of Labor Home Care Rule: What’s Next?
- A State-by-State Breakdown of Federal Protections for Home Care Workers
- Updated fact sheet on Federal minimum wage & overtime protections for home care workers
- Report: Fair Pay for Home Care Workers (NELP) on the rule’s history and need for reform
- U.S. Department of Labor website on companionship rules reform with comprehensive materials
- PHI Campaign for Fair Pay website with data briefs, stories, FAQs, and more, including a New York State implementation brief
- National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Know Your Rights materials
- Bazelon Center and other disability rights organizations’ Action Steps for Consumers and Advocates Regarding the DOL Home Care Rule and Home Care Rule Advocacy Fact Sheet