Five Consequences of Two Million Home Care Workers Getting Overtime

On Friday, August 21st, a federal appeals court ruled that nearly two million home care workers are in fact eligible for minimum wage and overtime protections if indicated by the Department of Labor. The date for implementing the new rule is not yet known, but given the unanimous decision it is likely to be sooner rather than later. So what will be the impacts?

  1. The rule applies to third-party home aide staffing agencies, which employ nearly 1.9 million people nationwide.
  2. Workers employed directly by clients or their families are still exempt from minimum wage and overtime laws. This exemption may make Consumer and Family-Directed Services more popular.
  3. Agencies with weak or ineffective time and attendance and scheduling will need to review their options. While overtime can never be eliminated, it can be minimized. Those agencies with effective time and attendance and scheduling solutions will be better able to manage the change.
  4. As Americans age, in-home care jobs are expected to grow by 49%, from 2012 to 2022, eclipsing the average growth for all occupations at 11%. Retention and recruitment will be a growing issue, especially when combined with a more stable economy. Effective HR and scheduling solutions can help reduce turnover and aid recruitment.
  5. States will need to review budgets. California recently included in the state’s $270 million budget funds to pay overtime to home care workers employed through the state’s Medicaid-funded In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program. California is the first and currently only state to allocate funding to pay overtime to home care workers who work more than 40 hours a week.

If you are looking to prepare your agency for these new regulations, contact MITC to speak with an agency specialist.

Arkansas Eliminates Home Care Program Serving 13,000 People

In-Home Services to be Privatized

In what could be a significant boost to private providers, Arkansas health officials announced Monday a plan to transition a home health care program serving tens of thousands of people to private-sector providers.

Arkansas Department of Health Director Nathaniel Smith said Monday the state would begin phasing out its In-Home Services program, a process he said will take at least six months. The department intends to market the program to private providers capable of managing the entirety of the operation, according to a news release. The decision will impact more than 13,000 patients, 1,807 contractually-employed In-Home Service workers and an additional 503 employees of the division. The list of services that will be transitioned to a private care provider include home health care, personal care, hospice care, maternal/infant services and case management.