This past September the US government modified the rules within the Fair Labor Standards Act, otherwise known as FLSA. These modifications directly affect those who employ senior caregivers, and caregivers themselves, due to the changing definition of what constitutes as companionship care.
Generally, the tasks and duties included in being a private senior caregiver are fairly broad, and under the new law, the term “companionship care” is going to be narrowed down and defined with FLSA’s new rule revisions. While most privately employed caregivers will continue to be classified as a companion caregiver, those working under an agency will no longer be considered as companions. Those employed with an agency will also be given overtime pay along with a set minimum wage. Privately hired caregivers that provide companionship care may be exceptions to this rule.
By narrowing down these duties caregivers can have a more simplified definition of what they should be accomplishing while caring for a loved one. Presently, things like house keeping and grooming fall into a category called incidental tasks. These tasks are acceptable as a “companionship exemption” only if they take up less than 20% of the overall time that caregivers spend on duty.
Beginning January 1st, 2015 these tasks will not be not be considered a companionship exemption by any means. Privately employed caregivers that do take on these tasks will be considered a domestic service employee and will be given minimum wage requirements along with overtime pay.
This changing definition on companionship care will be going into effect January 1st, 2015, giving employers and caregivers time to adjust to the revisions.
For more information on FLSA’s rule revisions check out: