DOL Extends Minimum Wage And Overtime Protection To Direct Care Workers.
The Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations under which direct care workers will now be covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements. Previously, this group of workers was considered exempt from the FLSA’s requirements under the “companionship” exemption, which encompassed individuals employed by a person or that person’s family to provide fellowship and protection (e.g., company, visiting, hobbies), as well as care related to those activities. The DOL noted that, unlike companions, direct care workers – such as home health aides, personal care aides and certified nursing assistants – receive skills training and provide medically-related services. This change will affect almost two million workers employed by home care agencies, as well as other entities and individuals. The DOL has set up a web portal to provide additional information about the regulations to workers, their families, and employers.