The U.S. Department of Labor has introduced initiatives to make sure that hospice workers and home-based caregivers are given fair wages and are protected by legal regulations. These workers, who are disproportionately women of color, are among the lowest-paid health care employees and often victims of wage and hour violations.
Hospice Workers Have Labor Protections
Professional caregivers are protected by labor laws, since these employees are essential workers and deserve to be respected. The Acting Wage and Hour Division is continuing to promote the exposure and enforcement of laws to ensure fair treatment for health care workers who are providing hospice care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and other home health services for patients.
The Division will give workers information about their rights when it comes to receiving a fair wage for their work and offers resources for filing a complaint if employment rules are violated.
What Hospice Employers Need To Watch For
Federal regulators who are familiar with hospice law and other home-based health care will be looking for indicators that health care workers are inadequately classifying home-based caregivers as independent contractors. The Department of Labor says that this classification can deprive workers of the wages and benefits that they have legally earned.
The Wage and Labor Division received over $38.7 million in back wages for health care workers during the Fiscal Year 2021. These workers were owed back wages due to many of these workers being misclassified as independent contractors.
The Division plans to conduct outreach to form alliances with local and state organizations and additional stakeholders to ensure that employers are clear about their responsibilities when it comes to enforcing the rights of caregivers. The goal is to ensure that essential workers are paid fairly so that they can deliver the best possible care to their patients.