Caregivers, Companions and Other Household Workers

The Nuddleman Law firm helps conservators, trustees, families, home-care agencies, residential care facilities and others in the elder care industry regarding how to comply with California’s employment laws. Robert Nuddleman defends employers before the Labor Commissioner, the Employment Development Department and other government agencies. The Nuddleman Law Firm represents caregivers, companions and personal attendants who were not paid according to state and federal overtime laws.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently confirmed that older adults aged 85 and over were more than twice as likely (20%) as adults age 75–84 (7%) to need help with personal care from other persons. Adults age 85 and over were more than six times as likely as adults age 65–74 (3%) to need help with personal care from other persons.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 35% of people over 65 reported some type of disability (i.e., difficulty in hearing, vision, cognition, ambulation, self-care, or independent living). 15% of persons over the age of 65 had independent living difficulty.

Most families require two incomes to support their immediate families, leaving no one available to care for our elderly family members. Most people don’t realize that hiring a caregiver, even if it’s for a few hours a week, can create an employer-employer relationship. Family-members are rarely prepared to become an “employer,” but that is exactly what happens when a family hires a caregiver. Whether called a caregiver, a personal attendant, a companion, or some other designation, homecare workers rarely qualify as independent contractors. Recent interpretations of what constitutes an “employer” or a “joint employer” in California mean family members can unknowingly become an employer, even when using a 3rdparty agency.

As an employer, the family must pay minimum wage and overtime, keep track of hours worked, ensure there is workers’ compensation coverage, provide paid sick leave and follow federal, state and local employment laws.

The Nuddleman Law Firm works with family members when hiring or employing caregivers or other homecare workers. Our experienced caregiver lawyer advises care agencies, referral agencies and residential care facilities regarding how to comply with the law. When employers fail to pay correctly, we represent caregivers to obtain the wages unlawfully withheld.

Different rules apply depending on the work performed and where the work is performed. Federal, state and local laws sometimes conflict with each other, or create opposing obligations. We simplify the process for you. We educate our clients, so they understand the law, and create simple to use agreements and forms to clarify the employment relationship. We advise clients how to minimize the risks and comply with the law without breaking the bank.

Whether you are a family member thinking of hiring a caregiver, or an employer employing scores of homecare workers, the East Bay employment law attorney at the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. can help ease the stress and provide a clear path toward resolution.  If you worked as a caregiver and believe you were not paid correctly or that you were wrongfully terminated, or if you are employing or thinking about employing a household worker, contact the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. today for a reduced rate consultation regarding your rights and obligations.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents caregivers, personal attendants and companions, as well employers in a variety of employment-related disputes.

Contact us if you’re dealing with disability accommodations or discrimination.