On September 17, 2013, the United States Department of Labor announced a final rule which will extend the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime provisions to home health care workers. Some two million home health aides, personal care aides and certified nursing assistants will become covered by the FLSA's wage and overtime provisions. Individuals who are employed directly by the person receiving services and who are primarily engaged in fellowship and protection activities will remain exempt from the FLSA.

"Many American families rely on the vital services provided by direct care workers," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Because of their hard work, countless Americans are able to live independently, go to work and participate more fully in their communities. Today we are taking an important step toward guaranteeing that these professionals receive the wage protections they deserve while protecting the right of individuals to live at home." For the full announcement, visit the news section on the Department of Labor website.

Laura Fortman, the principal deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, said that "the final rule provides increased flexibility, and gives programs sufficient time to make any needed adjustments. Together these changes will allow the rule to better meet consumers' needs while better protecting direct care workers." Id.

The new rule will be effective January 1, 2015. For more details on the new rule, visit the home care section on the Department of Labor website.