With the aging baby boomer generation, there is an increasing demand for home health care workers for the elderly, chronically ill and the disabled. Currently there are approximately 2 million home care workers with another 1 million expected to join the workforce by 2022.
Historically, home health care has been one of the lowest paid occupations in the US. A 1974 federal law exempted home heath care workers hired through a third party from wage and overtime requirements, seeing the care for the elderly as something more along the lines of a babysitter watching over a child.
Since then, that view of home care has undergone a dramatic transformation. As the number of people being cared for at home rises, there is recognition that workers are performing increasingly skilled duties.
Last month, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts signed an order paving the way for two million home-care workers to be eligible for minimum wages and overtime pay. All home care workers hired through third party agencies, will be eligible for the national $7.25 minimum wage and overtime for hours in excess of 40 per week.
Advocates for the new law claim better pay will communicate that society respects care giving as an important profession, stemming the turnover of employees endemic in the industry and, perhaps, elevating the quality of care.
Opponents believe the change could have a negative impact on workers as agencies will likely shift toward workers whose hours are capped at 40 or those who are part-time to avoid the overtime costs. They believe the new wage and hour rule will lead to the loss of home care for millions of elderly and disabled individuals.
If you are an Iowa worker and have been denied overtime or have other concerns regarding Iowa’s wage and hour law, employment discrimination in the workplace or another employment law concern, contact the Law Offices of Stoltze & Updegraff PLC. Our team of employment law attorneys provide experienced guidance and strong advocacy for employees engaged in disputes over wages, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, FMLA claims and more. Call today for help!