Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) issued the following statement after the Department of Labor issued final rulemaking that would extend minimum wage and overtime protections to over 2 million direct care workers who provide in-home care services for the elderly and disabled:
“Today’s announcement from the Department of Labor is a victory for direct care workers and older Americans and people with disabilities in Pennsylvania and across the country. I have long advocated for fair pay and increased training opportunities for direct care workers, who are at the front lines of caring for the Nation’s surging population over the age of 65. Insufficient training, low wages and little or no benefits are problems that increase turnover rates and compromise care. Since 2010, I’ve worked to move this proposal forward and I was pleased to speak with Secretary Perez to hear the Department of Labor would issue its final rule. I’ll continue to push for policies that ensure our older Americans and people with disabilities receive the vital care they need and that those caring for them receive adequate training and fair compensation.”
Casey first introduced legislation to advance the cause of direct care workers and those they care for in conjunction with a field hearing on the issue in Wilkes-Barre during 2010. In subsequent sessions of Congress, Casey reintroduced the legislation and pressed the Administration to act.
The Department of Labor today announced final rulemaking that would provide minimum wage and overtime protections for nearly two million workers who provide in-home care services for the elderly and infirm. The proposal will revise the companionship and live-in worker regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act to more clearly define the tasks that may be performed by an exempt companion, and to limit the companionship exemption to companions employed only by the family or household using the services. In addition, the Department proposed that third party employers, such as in-home care staffing agencies, could not claim the companionship exemption or the overtime exemption for live-in domestic workers, even if the employee is jointly employed by the third party and the family or household.