New Federal Rules Require Overtime Pay for Caregivers Nationwide

US Department of Labor announced new regulations that will require overtime pay for IHSS workers.

On Tuesday September 17, 2013, the US Department of Labor announced new regulations that will require overtime pay for the estimated 2 million IHSS workers nationwide. This includes the nearly 360,000 caregivers in California's taxpayer-funded In-Home Supportive Services program.

The new regulations won't take affect until January 1, 2015, which gives California time to prepare for the hike. Gov. Jerry Brown's administration estimates that the overtime will cost the state an extra $150 million annually for its In-Home Supportive Services program.

Laura Fortman, the principal deputy administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division said in her statement, "We want to make sure states have an opportunity to make any changes they need to make in order to have a smooth transition."

Advocates for IHSS are worried about how the state will respond to the new rules and are afraid officals will try to contain costs by limiting the hours caregivers can work. If that happens, Californians who need more than 40 hours of assistance per week would need additional workers.

"Home care providers are underpaid and under-appreciated," said Karen Keeslar, executive director of the California Assn. of Public Authorities, which connects workers with needy residents. "The concern we have is whether our state budget can afford overtime."

Kimberly Evon, secretary-treasurer of United Long Term Care Workers, said it is up to the state to avoid harming the elderly and disabled when implementing the new rules. Overtime pay would make it easier to recruit and retain better caregivers, especially as the home care industry continues to expand in the coming years. It's an incredible, giant step forward for home care workers to be treated and valued.

The new rules will take effect in January 2015 and apply to individuals who provide care to elderly individuals or those with disabilities, including home health aides, personal care aides, and, certified nursing assistants.

This is a major development and we will be posting more information as it becomes available.

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