In the long wait for a decision on a proposed rule change for minimum wages and overtime, home care workers are continuing to “wait and see,” writes Yahoo! News in a report this week.
“These essential employees, who work in the privacy of people’s homes for a short time such as with [one care recipient] — or long-term for the disabled or chronically ill — don’t always make minimum wage or overtime pay because of a loophole in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act,” Yahoo reports.
With advocacy initiatives under way, home care workers are hoping for the Obama Administration to change the rule and increase wages, the article states, having received a “no comment” from the Office of Management and Budget when asked about the change.
With the work force including almost half workers who are part time, and average wages of $21,000 annually, the population is also expected to boom, Yahoo! reports.
“The industry is also one of the fastest growing. Approximately 1.8 million strong now, it is expected to grow 70 percent by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” the report states.
But not all are agreed on whether the rule needs to be changed.
“We think it will do more harm than good, rather than these workers getting overtime, there will be fewer and fewer people who will use them,” Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, told Yahoo News.
Others in the business of providing home care told the publication it is time for the rule to change.
“In Pennsylvania, as in 21 other states, minimum wage and overtime protections are already in place for these workers, without hurting the bottom line,” the article writes. ‘“It hasn’t affected our business. That law should apply to home care workers,” Karen Kulp, president and CEO of Home Care Associates told Yahoo News.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker