Under current California law, most in-home caregivers must be paid overtime when working in excess of 9 hours in day, or more than 45 hours in a week. Despite the legal protections that exist, many household employers do not pay their 24-hour caregivers overtime. Instead, many employers pay wages that fall far short of California’s minimum wage.
In-Home Caregivers, working 24-hour shifts in Los Angeles, must be paid a minimum of $330.75 a day to comply with California’s current minimum wage laws. That includes nine hours of pay at the minimum wage of $10.50/hour for LA employees ($94.50), and 15 hours paid at the overtime rate of $15.75/hour ($236.25).
The primary reason many caregivers remain underpaid, despite having the protection of law, is that many are unaware of the law. Our firm, through the many articles we have written; our Facebook posts (Chaleff Rehwald); and website (www.cr.legal) has helped educate thousands of caregivers about the powerful caregiver protection laws that now exist. Also, we have helped dozens of caregivers file claims for the unpaid overtime they justly deserve. If you have a possible claim for unpaid overtime, please continue reading to learn more about your rights and how we can help.
Before 2014, in-home caregivers were employees who were exempt from California’s overtime compensation requirements. This presented a unique injustice for in-home caregivers, many of whom work 24-hours per day, 5 to 7 days per week. Even though caregivers work substantially more hours than most white-collar employees, they were not entitled to the overtime payments that other employees received.
In 2013, the California Legislature corrected this injustice by passing the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights (“DWBR” Cal. Labor Code § 1450 et seq.). With limited exceptions, this law requires overtime payments to in-home caregivers for all hours worked in excess of 9 in a day or 45 in a week. The Legislature wanted to protect in-home caregivers from being overworked and underpaid by household employers.
However, simply passing a law is not enough to protect workers. To enjoy protection under the law, in-home caregivers must still be made aware of the law, and must find qualified lawyers to pursue valid claims. Both are substantial hurdles, and household employers are still able to exploit workers who do not know their rights, or who are too afraid to enforce them.
Many household employers think that they can classify in-home caregivers as independent contractors to avoid the reach of the DWBR. This is a dangerous and misleading half-truth. While independent contractors are not entitled to California’s overtime compensation protections, it is virtually impossible for in-home caregivers to be true independent contractors.
Many caregivers are afraid to enforce the DWBR because they are undocumented. Fortunately, California has remained steadfast in its protection of undocumented workers. The law is clear that undocumented workers have the absolute right to pursue claims for unpaid overtime through the Court system.
The lawyers at Chaleff Rehwald have spent countless hours researching caregiver law, have written numerous articles about the law and, most importantly, have successfully handled many cases for in-home caregivers. We have detailed and specific strategies for caregiver cases, and are often able to resolve claims without ever going to court. We do want to hear from you and our attorneys want to learn more about your potential claim. Call us now for a free consultation. (818)807-4168.
This article is an attorney advertisement written by Daniel Chaleff and Kevin Rehwald, employment law attorney at Chaleff Rehwald in Woodland Hills. The law firm focuses on caregiver rights. Please call us at (818) 807-4168 for a free and confidential consultation. Or visit us at www.cr.legal to learn more about caregiver overtime law. We offer a 24-hour chat line on our website.