The home health care industry is booming. With massive job growth expected over the next decade, this is an exciting time for home health care companies. However, hidden in all this opportunity, there is risk. Owners must be aware of changing labor laws and current best practices to manage the risk of lawsuits and to control the cost of workers’ compensation claims.
As you know, home care workers have been entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay since 2015. The Department of Labor has set clear guidelines for when workers must be paid, and this may include some travel time and time spent waiting to be called on.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the home health industry since the law changed. Some of these lawsuits have come from the Department of Labor. According to Bloomberg, the Department of Labor sued at least five home care companies in separate cases during a three-week period in spring of 2018. The lawsuits claim wage and hour violations related to the 2015 law.
Other lawsuits have originated with the employees. For example, CBS 4 News reports that former employees have sued a home care agency in McAllen for failure to pay overtime between 2015 and 2017.
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M. Brant Watson
Senior Vice President
Heffernan Insurance Brokers
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