Homecare Workers: Know Your Rights

You help elderly people stay safe and healthy at home! You assist people with disabilities to go to work and live independent lives! You are a homecare worker.

Workers like you help millions of families – now it’s your turn to get a little help. Most homecare workers have new federal rights starting on October 13, 2015. 

Some states already give workers a higher minimum wage or pay overtime. Those rights won’t change. To get information on your state rights, go here: http://nelp.org/content/uploads/2015/03/Home-Care-State-by-State.pdf or call your state for more information: http://www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm

Resources

For more information about your rights, you can open, print and share the documents below.


What are my new rights?

Most homecare workers will now have the right to:

  • Minimum wage: Hourly pay of no less than the federal minimum wage –$7.25 for all hours worked
  • Overtime: Payment at a rate of 1.5 times your regular pay for hours over 40 hours in a workweek
  • Time tracking: Employer must keep track of weekly hours you work, the pay you earn, and deductions they take from your wages
  • No unfair deductions: No deductions for work-related costs (example: uniforms) from wages if you would then end up earning less than federal minimum wage due to the deduction
  • Travel time: When you are employed by an agency or other employer that sends you to multiple clients, you are entitled to payment for the time you spend in one day going from the home of one client to another.

Live-in homecare workers will get: 

  • Minimum wage: Hourly pay of no less than the federal minimum wage – $7.25 – for all hours worked
    • No deductions for work-related costs (ex: uniforms) from wages if you would then end up earning less than federal minimum wage due to the deduction.
    • Payment for all hours worked. You may agree with your employer to exclude sleep and meal time from your pay. You may agree with your employer to exclude other hours from your pay but only if you have complete freedom (including the freedom to leave the home or sleep without interruption) during those times – and if those hours are interrupted by work, you must be paid for that interrupted time. Your employer must save a copy of this agreement. 
  • Regular payment of wages

The U.S. Department of Labor also has lots of additional information about these new rights here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/travel_time.htm