Caregiver Rights

Caregiver Rights

Caregiver noun

care·giv·er | \ ˈker-ˌgi-vər

a person who provides direct care (as for children, elderly people, or the chronically ill)

As a caregiver, you mean the world to someone. You might be surprised to learn that caregiving is one of the fastest growing sectors in our economy. Caregiving is expected to grow even more as baby boomers age and require more help.

As a caregiver, California provides you more protection than most states. But, caregivers still have special overtime laws, leaving them more susceptible to abuse than other employees.

California Overtime Law in General

California overtime laws are different from federal laws. California provides for daily overtime, and weekly overtime. In general, any work in excess of 8 hours in a workday, 40 hours in a workweek, and 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, must be compensated at a rate of at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Any work in excess of 12 hours in 1 workday and 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, must be compensated at a rate of no less than twice the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Absent an agreement to the contrary, neither California nor federal law requires employers to pay premium compensation for hours worked on holidays, or weekends.

Employees are not subject to the foregoing overtime requirements if they are covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that expressly provides for:

  • The wages, hours of work, and working conditions of employees;
  • Premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked; and
  • A regular hourly rate of pay of not less than 30 percent more than the state minimum wage.

Different Laws for Caregivers

Mostly, caregivers are covered under Wage Order 5. California provides various exceptions to the above overtime laws. California’s exceptions applying to caregivers include:
•Employees in the healthcare industry who are subject to an alternative workweek schedule: No violation of the daily overtime provisions by an employer covered by Order 5 who institutes a validly adopted alternative workweek schedule that provides for workdays exceeding 10 hours but not more than 12 hours within a 40-hour workweek without the payment of overtime, provided that:
oAn employee who works beyond 12 hours in a workday must be paid overtime at double the employee’s rate of pay for all hours in excess of 12; and
oAn employee who works in excess of 40 hours in a workweek must be paid overtime at one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in the workweek.
•Camp counselors:
oNo daily or weekly overtime required provided the employee does not work more than 54 hours and not more than six days in a workweek.
oIn an emergency, the employee may work over 54 hours or more than six days in a workweek and must be paid at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all such excess hours.
oNo double time pay is required;
•Personal attendants:
oThere is no daily overtime for personal attendants.
oThere is no weekly overtime required, provided the employee does not work more than 40 hours nor more than six days in a workweek.
oIn an emergency, the employee may work over 40 hours or more than six days in a workweek and must be paid at least one and one-half times employee’s regular rate of pay for all such excess hours.
oThere is no double time pay required;
•Resident managers of homes for the aged having less than eight beds:
oNo daily overtime.
oNo weekly overtime required, provided the employee does not work more than 40 hours nor more than six days in a workweek.
oIn an emergency, an employee may work over 40 hours or more than six days in a workweek and must be paid at least one and one-half times employee’s regular rate of pay for all such excess hours.
oNo double time required;
•Employees directly responsible for children under 18 receiving 24-hour residential care:
oTime and one-half for all hours in excess of 40 in a workweek. If employee works more than 16 hours in a workday, must be paid two times employee’s regular rate of pay for all such excess hours.
oEmployee shall be paid two times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours in excess of 48 in a workweek.
•Ambulance drivers and attendants scheduled for 24-hour shifts who have agreed in writing to exclude from daily time worked not more than three meal periods of not more than one hour each and a regularly scheduled uninterrupted sleeping period of up to eight hours:
oNo daily overtime required.

If you’re a caregiver, and you’re concerned you’re not getting paid appropriately, it’s important to talk to an employment attorney who understands caregiver rights.

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