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IN-HOME CAREGIVERS: ARE YOU PAID OVERTIME?

14 May 2019 No CommentEmail This Post Email This Post

If you are employed as a 24-hour caregiver,
working around-the-clock to provide care and assistance to an individual inside
their home, you are most likely entitled to overtime compensation.  If you are paid a fixed daily rate,
regardless of the actual hours you work or the quality and quantity of work you
perform, you are not receiving overtime compensation and likely have a valuable
claim for wage theft. This is true whether you are hired directly by the care recipient
or paid though a home care agency.

In 2014 the Domestic Workers’ Bill of
Rights (“DWBR”) became law in California. The law was passed as part of a
movement to enhance the rights of domestic workers, whom the California
Legislature deemed to be some of the most invisible and vulnerable workers in
the state. Now, under the DWBR, in-home caregivers are entitled to receive
overtime wages for all hours worked in excess of 9 in a day or 45 in a week.  

In Los Angeles County, most 24-hour
caregivers must be paid a minimum of $378.00 per day to comply with the requirements
of the DWBR.  The first 9-hours of work should
be paid at the legal minimum wage rate in Los Angeles of $12.00 per hour, which
equals $108.00. Then, for the remaining 15 hours, the law requires overtime
payments at a rate of $18.00 per hour, which amounts to an additional $270.00.

Unfortunately, in actual practice, most
caregivers working in Los Angeles receive far less than the applicable minimum,
often earning as little as $120 to $180 per day. A 24-hour caregiver in Los
Angeles who is earning less than $378.00 per day likely has a very valuable
claim for wage theft.

For example, if you are a caregiver working
24-hours per day, 5 days per week for a salary of $800 per week (or $160 per
day), your weekly unpaid overtime claim is calculated as follows:  Your weekly salary of $800 is divided by 40
hours to calculate a regular rate of pay, equal to $20 per hour.  Your overtime rate is 1.5 times your regular
rate of pay, which amounts to $30 per hour. 

Your pre-determined salary does not compensate
you, at all, for the 15 daily overtime hours you work. So, each day, you accrue
$450 of unpaid overtime wages. Employers, who willfully fail to pay an employee
the requisite overtime compensation, are also subject to liquidated damages,
which could add an additional $157.50 per day to the wage theft claim. Plus,
the law provides for interest, attorneys fees, and penalties.  

In the above example, the hypothetical
caregiver is owed over $3,000 in unpaid overtime wages per week.  On a yearly basis, the claim exceeds
$150,000.  We help many caregivers whose claims
exceed $500,000 in potential damages after working for several years.

Caregivers, who are victims of wage theft,
may recover their unpaid wages going back 4 years from the date a lawsuit is
filed in court.  We have helped many
caregivers file claims against their former employers.  Even if you last worked several years ago,
you still have time to pursue a claim. 
The one exception is if the care recipient patient has passed away. In
that instance, a claim against the care recipient’s estate must be filed within
1 year of their passing, or sooner if an estate has been opened.  

If you are a caregiver and are hesitant to proceed
with claims for wage theft against your current or former employer please visit
our website at www.cr.legal/getmyot
to review our article that addresses many of the common concerns we have heard
from caregivers.

If you are a caregiver working 24-hour
shifts without overtime compensation, we want to talk with you about your legal
rights.  We provide compassionate and
confidential consultations.  Please contact
us at (818) 807-4168, for a free case evaluation. 

This article is an attorney
advertisement written by Daniel Chaleff, employment law attorney at Chaleff
Rehwald in Woodland Hills. Our examples are of a general nature and are not a
guarantee regarding the outcome of your individual matter. The law firm focuses
on caregiver rights.  Please call us at
(818) 807-4168 for a free case evaluation. 
Or visit us at
www.cr.legal
to learn more about caregiver overtime law. 
We offer a 24-hour chat line on our website.

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