Companionship Services Exemption
The companionship services exemption was intended to protect the interests of the elderly and the infirm who cannot care for themselves. Eliminating the exemption will do little to improve the working conditions of home care aides who need health insurance and career opportunities. Without increasing spending from government home care programs or imposing higher charges to vulnerable patients, home care aide employers can only restrict working hours and avoid overtime pay.
Most home care providers are small businesses with limited resources. The companionship exemption result would be to reduce the availability of care to the elderly and the infirm and to increase the costs of service delivery with no corresponding increase from third party payers, such as Medicaid.
The unique employment nature of home care warrants a tailored approach to wage and hour requirements that takes into account that the focus of the employment is a population of vulnerable and infirm elderly persons with disabilities in their own homes.