The U.S. Department of Labor announced today a final rule extending the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime protections to most of the nation's workers who provide essential home care assistance to elderly people and people with illnesses, injuries or disabilities. That means nearly two million direct care workers, such as home health aides, personal care aides and certified nursing assistants receiving the same basic protections already provided to most U.S. workers.
"Direct care workers play a critical role in ensuring access to high-quality home care that many people need in order to remain healthy and independent in their communities, and they should be compensated fairly for this important work," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. "We will continue to engage with consumers, states, advocates and home care providers in the implementation of this rule to help people with disabilities, older adults and their families receive quality, person-centered services."
There are an estimated 1.9 million direct care workers in the U.S. with nearly all currently employed by home care agencies. approximately 90 percent of direct care workers are women, and nearly 50 percent are minorities.
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