Legislation that would extend the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide minimum wage and overtime compensation to home care workers has been filed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Direct Care Workforce Empowerment Act, H.R. 5902, would also allow federal and state authorities to collect data and provide better oversight with respect to the direct care workforce, and create a grant program to help train, recruit and retain home care workers.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Linda Sánchez, D-Calif., said that the measure is needed to protect the increasing number of home care workers providing services to the disabled, home-bound and elderly.
“As the daughter of a father living with Alzheimer’s – I know just how important home care workers are,” Sánchez said in a statement. “Yet, every year, home-care aides land on Forbes magazine’s list of the ‘25 worst-paying jobs in America.’ … No matter whether you sit behind a corporate desk or care for an elderly person in a home, all work has dignity.”
Last year, Sánchez urged U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to amend FLSA regulations to require that home care workers be paid minimum wage and overtime. The Labor Department included the issue on its list of regulatory items to address, but has yet to draft a proposed rule.