On Tuesday, a group of franchisees and franchisors from the companion care industry traveled to Washington DC to meet with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and express concerns over a proposed regulation that is detrimental to both employers and workers.
The proposal would remove a long-standing overtime exemption for companion care workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), resulting in increased costs for seniors or the prospect of having to enter institutional care or seek services from unlicensed “grey-market” providers. The overtime exemption would also motivate employers to reduce the hours worked by caregivers, forcing workers to take on second jobs.
Representatives from Home Instead, Griswold Home Care, BrightStar Care, Right at Home, and Senior Helpers joined IFA government relations staff in emphasizing the economic impact of the proposal. According to a study by IHS Global Insight, 23% of companion care clients may stop services if the FLSA overtime exemption is removed, and 95% of firms operating in states without overtime regulations say they will eliminate all scheduled overtime, impacting thousands of low wage companion workers and the clients they care for.
Legislative initiatives by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, seek to prohibit the DOL from promulgating the regulation as well as expand the definition of “companion care” to include services provided by a third-party employer.
IFA’s Public Affairs Conference, September 10-11 in Washington, DC is a great opportunity to meet with your elected officials to tell them how government regulation impacts your business. Click here for more information and to register for free.