Supreme Court’s home care ruling could mean better caregiving

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2016 | Employee Rights

Take a look around you during your time off sometime. That person sitting next to you at the movie possibly works a very different gig than you do. Maybe he or she puts in 40 hours or more a week, but their job’s classification provides them with fewer employee rights than your job provides you. 

Or maybe you are the worker who just can’t believe the lack of rights you have given the work you put in, day in and day out. If you, for example, are a home care worker, you probably have suffered financially because of your title. But now,the Supreme Court of the United States has clarified an employment law matter that could serve your best interests.

Controversy over home care workers has stemmed from an old rule that labeled such workers as “companions.” Employers could use that label as a legal loophole to deny the caregivers employee rights such as minimum wage and overtime pay. Basically, a companion was comparable to a babysitter in the eyes of employment laws.

After legal challenges and employers’ attempt to have the Supreme Court approve the continued classification of home care givers as companions, the court has responded in favor of workers, not the companies that likely save money through the old law. To put it simply, home care givers now are legally protected as employees. They deserve to earn minimum wage and overtime pay when appropriate. 

Supporters of the employment classification change believe that this step not only provides hard-working caregivers with deserved financial security but also keeps those hard-working individuals in our loved ones’ homes. We are living in an aging society, wherein more and more men and women need consistent, trusted care. The court’s decision could be seen as a message that we value fairness in the workforce, and we also value how our elders are treated.  

FindLaw Network