As of January 1, 2015, most of the approximately 2 million home know health workers will finally have the right to be paid the minimum wage and overtime after the US Department of Labor updated “companionship regulations” to close a loophole that has excluded them from these basic protections for decades.
Do I qualify for minimum wage and overtime?
You should be paid minimum wage and overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek if you:
- Are paid by an agency, company other “third party provider,” or by a state intermediary agency
- Spend at least 20 percent of your time assisting with activities of daily living” or “instrumental activities of daily living,” like dressing, grooming, feeding, bathing or toileting, meal preparation, driving, light
housework, managing finances, assistance with taking medications and arranging medical care.
- Provide any medically-related services that are usually done by someone with training, even if you aren’t trained.
- Provide any housekeeping that primarily benefits household members other than the person
you are caring for.
Live-in homecare workers who are paid by an individual still do not have to be paid minimum wage or overtime under the new regulations.
How much is the minimum wage and how is overtime calculated?
Minimum Wage – The minimum wage in North Carolina and nationally is $7.25 per hour. If your company or boss promises you more than the minimum wage, by law they have to pay you what they promised.
Overtime Pay – Your employer must pay you 1½ times your normal pay rate for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. For example, if you make $7.25 per hour, and you work 45 hours in a week, you should be paid $10.88 per hour for 5 hours and $7.25 for 40 hours. Overtime pay is based on the hours worked each week, not the hours worked each day or the number of days worked.