The Department of Labor (DOL) recently released a new publication to help families that employ home care workers deal with the very strict wage and hour requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal minimum wage and overtime law that applies to most home care workers. The Guide for Employing Home Care Workers was created to help individuals and households determine their responsibilities under the FLSA.
The guide explains several things about who must follow the FLSA rules, with examples showing how it applies when:
- You hire a home care worker directly
- You use a home care agency
- You arrange care through a self-directed program
The guide describes what to do when your paid home care worker is a family member, and if you have a live-in home care worker. Also included are instructions to comply with the FLSA rules, such as minimum wage and overtime rules, tracking employee hours, and record keeping.
It’s very important to understand the rules about whether your home care worker is an employee or an independent contractor. If you hired the worker yourself, if you set the worker’s hours and dictate what tasks are to be done, then the worker is most likely an employee, and therefore you are subject to the FLSA rules on proper wage payment.