FLSA to be extended to home care workers

Why not?And why wait until 2015?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to just about everyone. Yet there is an exception for domestic service employees who provide “companionship services” to elderly people or people with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities who require assistance in caring for themselves, and an exemption for domestic service employees who reside in the household in which they provide services. Millions of people.

Beginning January 1, 2015 (yes, twenty-fifteen) there will be a big change.

Department of Labor issued a final rule September 17 that will add about two million workers to the list of those who are covered by the FLSA, and thus come under its minimum wage and overtime provisions. [Full text of new rule] [DOL press release]

The new rule (1) narrows the definition of exempt “companion services” employees, (2) prevents third-party employers (like home care agencies) from claiming companionship or domestic service exemptions, and (3) clarifies that workers who perform certain medically-related services (such as certified nurse assistants) are covered by the FLSA.

This all makes sense to me. These folks do more than sit around and play checkers with Gramps. They do real work. If the FLSA is good for other wage-earners, then it's good here.

And it makes no sense that it will take 15 months for employers and employees to adjust. We are not an ignorant, sluggish nation, and Washington DC should not treat us as if we were.