As an experienced Putnam County Employment Attorney, I am often asked about home care workers. The area of live-in or domestic caretakers in terms of employees who are hired by families to take care of elderly parents or things along those lines, is often a very big issue over how many hours the live-in worker actually works. Of course the person is onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are usually very lose rules in time record keeping, and it’s a very informal arrangement and the person, often times, is considered to be a member of the family. They dine with the family members, they might go shopping with the family members, and they help keep the house in order and things along those lines. Sometimes we also have situations where the live-in worker starts out working a certain number of hours per week or per day and that grows because the arrangement develops and evolves. Maybe someone needs additional care, or additional duties are given to the live-in worker. The live-in worker needs to be cognizant of whether they are actually receiving pay for the number of hours that they are working.
New York state law specifically protects domestic care providers in terms of how many hours per week they work if you are a live-in. If you work for forty four hours a week, you are entitled to overtime. You are also entitled to receive whatever the state minimum wage is at that particular time, which changes from year to year. If you are paid a weekly wage or a monthly wage you need to be aware. It’s a difficult situation for live-in workers because, if they do lobby for more money, the employer often times is going to look for a less expensive source of labor. A lot of times, these particular types of clients are concerned about lobbying for increases in pay, but it’s certainly something that can be actionable if an increase in pay is not given. You should certainly seek the advice of an attorney in order to lobby for you and provide you with a very good strategy in terms of how to approach an employer in a way that’s going to keep you employed and maintain your employment, but at the same time also get you what you are entitled to.
Are you a home care worker that is being treated unfairly? If so, contact the experienced Putnam County Employment Attorney Kim Berg.