Springhill Care Group: Bill for Homecare Workers Still Pending Approval
Delays in the final stage of a legislation that will provide homecare workers with overtime pay and minimum wage is making the sector nervous that it may not go through in time.
Michigan (I-Newswire) September 6, 2012 - Delays in the final stage of a legislation that will provide homecare workers with overtime pay and minimum wage is making the sector nervous that it may not go through in time.
The Companionship Services Exemption, enacted in 1974 by Congress, is meant to exclude casual companions for the senior citizens and babysitters from minimum wage requirements and overtime pay and not to waive government pay guidelines for professionally-trained caregivers.
And after years of failed attempts in changing the guidelines, US President has announced last year of plans to alter the exemption and apply the wage protections to homecare workers under private agencies. Because of this almost 1.8 million homecare workers will potentially see a pay increase under this plan.
However, after extending the period of public comment for two times, the Labor Department has not finalize the rule change yet and will need to be approved by the President and published in the National Register — all before it takes any effect, apparently for scam prevention.
The workforce comprising the homecare industry is made up of minorities, older women or immigrants who provide services that are not covered in the expected law, such as giving medications, preparing meals and helping in physical therapy. And due to the __ benefits, low pay and laborious work, the homecare industry is seeing an increase in its turnover rate.
Many are anxious that this could lead to shortages in workforce, especially as the demand is expected to increase.
Such postponement makes the labor groups wary of what might be the results. In 2000, President Clinton attempted to close the exemption but the incoming President Bush halted the progress. Fearing a similar occurrence in this coming election, they are calling for a quicker action lest the next administration will side with the industry.
Legal co-director of National Employment Law Project said, “I think there’s a high probability that that could happen. We are very concerned about the delays, especially given the history with these regulations.”
According to the Labor Department, even as the plan is still on the agenda there is no provided timeframe for its accomplishment.
Some groups remarked that requiring overtime and higher pay will harm the thousands of small-time homecare agencies that compose the bulk of the industry financially.
Moreover, they argue, this could force patients to hire independent aides who might not have the same standard of qualifications and training.
“We believe that eliminating the companionship exemption will force many seniors and people with disabilities into assisted living or institutional care because of the increased cost of in-home care,” said the chairman of the Private Duty Homecare Association.
About Springhill Care Group
Springhill Care Group
Town Center Suite 1900
Town Center Suite 1900
Phone : 248 351 2600
Published On:September 6, 2012
Print Release:Print Release
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