“Thought for the Day” #757 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

July 8, 2016

If family members are hired as home health care workers, the same FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) rules discussed in this week’s blog that apply non-family care providers apply to them. If you hire family members, you must pay them overtime and minimum wage as long as they are spending more than 20 percent of their time engaged in care services. However, it is very important to have a written plan of care detailing the family member’s working hours and obligations, so it is clear what is work time and what is family time. The federal minimum wage in 2016 is $7.25 per hour ($8.75 in Maryland as of July 1, 2016), but states may have higher rates. Employees who are entitled to overtime pay can receive one and a half times their normal rate for every hour worked over 40 hours a week. Regardless of whom you hire to provide care for yourself or your loved one, you should have a written caregiver contract detailing the caregiver’s rights and responsibilities. Make sure you are following the law when it comes to hiring a caregiver. The Department of Labor has produced a “Paying Minimum Wage and Overtime to Home Care Workers” guide for families on the FLSA requirements.