The US Court of Appeals in Washington decided on August 21 to allow the new overtime regulation from the Department of Labor, which was supposed to take effect July 1, 2015. California officials passed the overtime law last year, which meant that In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers were entitled to overtime pay and minimum wage, but the California labor law was shelved, pending a review.
The ruling could still be appealed to the Supreme Court. If that happens, the state law would be put on hold pending that ruling, but Governor Jerry Brown doesn’t expect a holdup. According to Capitol Public Radio (Aug. 21) the Governor's administration expects to grant overtime pay to IHSS workers after an appellate court ruled last week that such providers are entitled to overtime pay.
To date $270 million has been set aside to cover Care Workers’ overtime costs. Workers will be paid time-and-a-half if they work more than 40 hours a week. However, they are limited to 66 hours a week.
The long legal battle for home health care workers overtime
The federal law proposed that “If you are employed only by the person you assist, or that person’s family or household, you may or may not be entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay, depending on your duties.”
Back in May 2013, California stakeholders and state officials said that overtime home care rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor and under review by the White House for certain caregivers could spell disaster for California’s IHSS program. They believed that the increased costs “would be enough to disrupt a government program used by 450,000 elderly and disabled Californians.” They argued that overtime would cost California’s IHSS program $150 million more in state funds every year, according to The Los Angeles Times (May 26, 2013).
Laphonza Butler, president of the California council of the Service Employees International Union, said she was confident that an agreement could be met regarding this issue. “Caregivers earn from $8 to $12.20 an hour and deserve extra pay for overtime,’ she told the LA Times.
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“We anticipate that right now the regulations would not come back online until mid-October,” said H.D. Palmer, with the governor’s department of finance. “But that could be affected by whether or not there is an appeal of this ruling to the US Supreme Court.”