New Federal Rules Require Overtime Pay for 360K Calif. Caregivers
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor released new regulations requiring overtime pay for certain caregivers, including about 360,000 employed by California's In-Home Supportive Services program, the Los Angeles Times reports.
IHSS provides services for the elderly and people who are blind or have disabilities (Megerian, Los Angeles Times, 9/17).
Unions and advocacy groups for years have been lobbying for a federal rule requiring overtime pay for in-home caregivers, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., require minimum wage for caregivers, while fifteen of those states also offer overtime pay to such workers.
Details of Rules
The new rules will take effect in January 2015 and apply to individuals who provide care to elderly individuals or those with disabilities, including:
- Home health aides;
- Personal care aides; and
- Certified nursing assistants (Hananel, AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/17).
Kimberly Evon -- secretary-treasurer of United Long Term Care Workers -- said the regulations will make recruitment and retention of home care workers easier.
"It's an incredible, giant step forward for home care workers to be treated and valued," Evon said.
However, other groups are concerned that the rules could lead to the state cutting caregivers' hours to reduce costs, which could limit access to care for some individuals who are elderly or who have disabilities.
Karen Keeslar -- executive director of the California Association of Public Authorities -- said, "The concern we have is whether our state budget can afford overtime" (Los Angeles Times, 9/17).
Andrea Devoti -- chair of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice -- said the changes will "mean that people will receive less care" because companies will reduce caregivers' hours to keep consumers from paying higher costs.
In a joint statement, Reps. John Kline (R-Minn.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) wrote, "Faced with higher costs, some individuals will have no choice but to leave their homes and enter institutional living" (AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.