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Next year marks a new change in the labor law under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) concerning domestic service workers.  Caregivers will no longer perform housekeeping duties as part of their job description.  Care-oriented services will be separated from companion care services, and there will be a clear distinction between the two types.  According to the Final Rule, effective January 2015, the level of pay will be based on what caregivers actually do.

Direct Care Services

Direct care services shall be defined as care-oriented tasks, such as bathing, grooming, meal preparation (for the patient only), driving to medical appointments, administering medication, arranging for necessary appointments, and the like.  Any services necessary to sustain the client’s physical health will be deemed care-oriented.  Caregivers who perform direct care services for more than 20% of their time have overtime protection under the Final Rule.

Companion Care Services

Companionship, or fellowship, services are based on recreation.  Transportation to the movies, taking a scenic drive by the ocean, or paying social visits to friends is considered companionship.  Also included in this description are playing board games, watching TV, being physically present for elder safety, and conversation.

Domestic Services

Housecleaning and laundry, which are traditionally included in caregiving services, will be considered separate in 2015.  Mopping, vacuuming, meal preparation for the entire family, and deep cleaning appliances in the home are considered domestic services.    This is a little different from light housecleaning for the client, which is just cleaning up when a client is done eating, or straightening things up around the house.  As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that duties normally performed by a maid would be considered separate from traditional caregiving services.

What does this mean for you?

When the time comes for families to hire caregivers, decision-making can be very difficult.  There are so many options to choose from in such a small amount of time!  If you hire a caregiver from a private ad, you need to document each and every time of activity that your caregiver performs, and at the end of the tax year, you’re on your own.  You have to withhold taxes and familiarize yourself with the Fact Sheet, which is 358 pages long, under the FLSA concerning domestic service workers!

Home care agencies like A-1 Home Care take care of all the documentation for you.  We also do all the dirty work for you, like criminal background checks, DMV checks, reference verifications, sex offender checks, and personality/character assessment.  A-1 Home Care only recruits cream-of-the-crop caregivers, certified home health aides, and certified nurse assistants.  Allow us to lift the burden off your shoulders!

Call A-1 Home Care today (310) 657-8780 and talk to an expert about services in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Hollywood, Brentwood, and other cities in LA County.  Learn more about us on http://www.lainhomecareservice.com!   

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