During June and July, as in home caregivers logged onto Facebook or Instagram – attorneys used a sponsored ad like this one pictured to lure the potential claimants into exploring their legal options against their employers. The ads ask questions of in home caregivers like, “Are you a home health aide? Are you being paid correctly?”
With a simple click of the “Learn More” button, in home caregivers are connecting with attorneys who are aggressively going after companies and household employers who are violating California’s often tricky wage and hour laws.
It’s a reminder to always make sure in home caregivers are paid correctly for all hours worked. This is necessary whether you have one employee, or 100 employees, whether you are working with a full service agency such as ours, At Home Nursing Care, or if you are hiring someone directly.
Caregivers are not independent contractors in California, meaning all labor rules apply: sick time, pay for sleep time overnight, overtime after 9 hours in a day, 40 hours in a week, proper documentation on pay stubs, and so on.
Make sure you are working with an agency that follows the rules to avoid co-employment liability. Not knowing the rules won’t save you or your clients in court.
And with social media, bad news travels fast. Give us a call if you are concerned about a private hire or “registry” situation.
Our agency has signed meal waiver forms if we need in home caregivers to have paid on-duty meals. We make sure our caregivers don’t engage in work that eliminates the personal care attendant exemptions that are very important in California’s Wage Order 15. The exemptions allow caregivers to not get regular meals and breaks if certain conditions are met.
Some examples of easy ways to run afoul of Wage Order 15 is to have the caregiver clean an entire house or cook meals for the client and guests. Some registries and private employers still believe it’s okay to have a caregiver stay in a house 24 hours a day, and not pay overtime, or to deduct sleep time from pay. All of those practices will give an attorney a reason to write a demand letter or flle a claim.
People who are in positions of influence over the caregiver, such as fiduciaries or accountants who cut checks or set schedules – may face a co=employment liability for any wage order violations, another reason to vet the service providers you engage.
At Home Nursing Care is a licensed and accredited full –service in home care company which employs all of our in home caregivers. Our founder, Lauren Reynolds, sits on the board for the California Association for Health Services at home and she stays aware of the latest legal developments and compliance issues. We treat our employees as well as we possibly can, not just that’s the law, but because it’s the right thing to do.
We invite you to give us a call if we can be of service to you or someone you care about. You can download our San Diego brochure here.