“A federal judge has put a stop to a new rule requiring that in-home care workers assisting people with disabilities be paid minimum wage and overtime.
“U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said this week that the U.S. Department of Labor overstepped its authority when it moved to mandate pay protections for caregivers.
“Under a law dating to back to the 1970s, in-home care workers have been classified much like baby sitters and exempt from many wage protections. The Obama administration sought to change that, instituting regulations — which were set to take effect this month — mandating that the nation’s 2 million home care workers receive at least the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour and qualify for time-and-a-half for working more than 40 hours per week.
“Trade groups representing agencies that employ many in-home care workers challenged the new requirements and in two rulings — one in late December and a second this week — Leon put a halt to the Labor Department regulations.
“‘While the Department of Labor’s concern about the wages of home care providers is understandable, Congress is the appropriate forum in which to debate and weigh the competing financial interests in this very complex issue affecting many families,’ Leon wrote in his latest opinion.”