On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a federal circuit court’s decision upholding a rule by the U.S. Department of Labor that would extend overtime and minimum wage protections to home health aides. This decision is a win for workplace fairness and safety.
This blog has been following this issue since a federal district court struck down this rule early in 2015. Though this rule may not have an impact on workers’ compensation directly, the fact that home health aides are covered by wage and hour laws would make it more likely that they would be treated as employees and more likely to be covered by workers’ compensation laws as employees.
The fact that home health aides appear poised to gain overtime and minimum wage protections should also improve pay and benefits for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who perform similar to work to home health aides. Higher pay for CNAs could lead to better patient care and fewer injury claims.
The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeal relieves uncertainty over whether the rule applies or not. The U.S. Labor Department declared the rule was effective on Oct. 13, 2015. Since the court challenge failed, the rule should be effective. If you have questions as to whether you are covered by the rule or not, please visit the Labor Department’s site about wage and hour protections for home care workers.