Sunday, November 27, 2011

New York Times revisits rule on paying home health aides (and live-in's) overtime

The New York Times has a good editorial “Fair Pay for Hard Work” regarding the issue of overtime for home health aides often used to provide eldercare in the home, Nov. 25, link here.

The editorial discusses the 2007 Supreme Court ruling on the Evelyn Coke case, and explains the concept that Congress or the Labor Department, with a 1974 rule, had apparently made “companions” (that is, normally, "live-in's") exempt from normal overtime rules. Congress would have to change it. 

It also points out that stiffing home health workers, even if it seems to save Medicaid money, is bad public policy because it could lead to more nursing home use (and nursing homes are going to get full). 

It’s not too hard to put all this together with filial responsibility laws. 

I can recall, while still in Minneapolis, back in 2002, being told that people over 60 (I was 59 then) were being recruited as “senior home companions” and paid only a “small stipend”. 

Below is a YouTube "Trubute to Evelyn Coke".  It says that home care workers are not protected by minimum wage and overtime laws at all.  I thought that was true "only" for live-ins. 

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