Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new regulations that will require employers to pay home care workers the minimum wage and overtime pay. Home care workers provide essential home care assistance to elderly people and people with illnesses, injuries or disabilities. In 2007, Maine passed a law which provided these same types of workers with minimum wage and overtime protections. Home care workers are particularly essential in Maine since Maine is the nation’s oldest state.
Dennis Fitzgibbons, chair of the Maine State Independent Living Council, has advocated for better pay for home care workers. “All of us who live with a disability want to go on with our lives as we see fit to the greatest extent possible,” said Fitzgibbons. “While we may solicit support from families and friends, we often need professional direct care workers to assist us as well. When we enlist their services, we expect the highest quality possible, and we owe them something in return.”
These new federal regulations will go into effect on January 1, 2015. If you are a home care worker and you do not receive the minimum wage or overtime pay, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about your rights.