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Home health care employment practices largely unregulated

A recent report by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law indicates that working conditions for many in the home health care industry are frequently unregulated. Home health care aides and home health care attendants frequently do not receive overtime wages, are not paid according to minimum wage laws, and suffer other substantive violations of employment law. These conditions have led to high turnover, unstable work schedules, a lack of respect, low wages, and the existence of a completely unregulated gray market.

Recently, the United States Supreme Court addressed some of these issues in Long Island Care at Home v. Coke. There, the Court held that certain types of home health care aides are not protected by minimum wage and overtime laws as written. However, this does not mean that they shouldn’t. The employees left unprotected by the Supreme Court’s decision in Long Island Care at Home are charged with the care of the nation’s growing elderly population, and many seniors and their families are relying upon their continued service as alternatives to nursing homes and other long term care centers. Ensuring that these employees, who are predominantly immigrant women, are protected by wage laws and are adequately paid is critical to ensuring the stable work force required to provide quality health care and an improved quality of life to our seniors.

Click here for the Brennan Center for Justice Report, Unregulated Work in the Global City Click here for a prior post on the Long Island Care at Home decision