On April 16, the Supreme Court of the United States is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case in which Ms. Coke, a 73-year old immigrant from Jamaica, is the sole plaintiff. She is challenging Labor Department regulations that say in-home elder care attendants are not covered by federal minimum-wage and overtime laws. Ms. Coke, who for 20 years cared for clients in their homes, states that she loved her work, but the money was not good at all. She often worked three or four 24-hour days, hardly ever receiving time-and-a-half for overtime.
The stakes in this case are considerable because in-home care is one of the nation’s fastest growing occupations. The elderly population continues to grow and in-home care provides an alternative to nursing homes, where costs can be high and nursing home abuse and neglect occurs.
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