A new rule taking effect January 1, 2015 means most direct-care workers employed by agencies and other third-party employers will be entitled to at least the federal minimum wage and overtime as set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

              The United Stated Department of Labor says the change will affect nearly two million direct-care workers, such as home health aides, personal care aides, and certified nursing assistants.  The rule extends minimum wage and overtime protections to all direct-care workers employed by homecare agencies and other third parties.

                 Individual workers who are employed by the person receiving services or that person’s family or household and engaged in fellowship and protection (providing company, visiting or engaging in hobbies) and care incidental to such activities will still be considered exempt from the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage requirements.

             The new rule also stipulates that agencies and other third-party employers will no longer be able to claim the overtime pay exemption for live-in domestic service workers.  Instead, employers will be required to keep employee time and pay records for any nonexempt direct-care worker they employ.  Those employees also must be paid at least the federal minimum wage.