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FACT SHEET: $100 Billion Home Care Industry Can Afford Minimum Wage, Overtime

April 24, 2015

Despite their claims to the contrary, the “enormous and fast-growing” home care industry can afford to pay the added costs associated with guaranteeing basic wage protections for its workers, a PHI fact sheet shows.

“Home care is a thriving $100 billion industry,” the fact sheet says. “Revenues are steadily rising, and many home care companies report extraordinarily high profit margins.”

Home care workers are currently not entitled to minimum wage or overtime protections under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

In January, a federal judge issued an opinion in the case Home Care Association of America v. Weil vacating a Department of Labor (DOL) rule change that would have extended these basic wage protections to home care workers.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit — several home care business associations as well as the International Franchise Association — argued that the DOL’s rule change would increase costs and thereby make home care too expensive for consumers.

The new PHI fact sheet, FLSA Facts No. 2: Growing Home Care Industry Can Afford Basic Labor Protections for Workers, disproves that claim, showing that the revenues of the already-profitable home care industry will only grow as more Americans age into retirement.

The home care industry’s revenue topped $100 billion in 2012 and has grown steadily over the last decade, even during the recession years.

The industry’s insistence on paying its workers poverty-level wages may be good for its bottom line, but these wages “are undermining the ability of home care employers to attract and retain a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of an aging America,” the fact sheet says.

The DOL has filed an expedited appeal of the federal judge’s January ruling. An appeals hearing is set for May 7.

— by Matthew Ozga

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