Defying pressure from business groups, the Obama administration is moving forward with a rule requiring that the nation's estimated 2 million home health workers be paid at least the federal minimum wage as well as overtime.
However, the U.S. Labor Department announced last week that the rule, effective Jan. 1, won't be enforced until June 30. For the six months following the enforcement deadline, the department said it would use its discretion on whether to bring enforcement actions, considering good-faith efforts by the states and home-care operators to comply with the pay rule.
For decades, home health workers have been exempted from federal pay rules. Many are older women who work long hours without benefits or overtime pay. Under the rule proposed last year, those workers must be paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and time and a half when they work more than 40 hours a week.