Home Care Workers: Overtime and Other Wage and Hour Law

Before 2015, home care workers were excluded from the federal minimum wage and overtime protections provided by the Fair Labor and Standards Act. They are now covered by these laws, but the nature of their work and the services they provide are unlike the traditional “9 to 5” hours under which many other employees operate.

The wage and hour division of the United States Department of Labor has a helpful guide that outlines exactly how home care workers are paid, overtime exemptions, and how employers can properly follow the regulations set forth under FLSA. As an employer of a home care worker, these regulations must be adhered to, as violating them is not only hurtful for your company but those who need in-home care benefit greatly from a stable workforce of home care workers.

If you are a home care worker, it’s pertinent to know your rights and when they are being violated, so let’s lay it out in layman’s terms by making important distinctions. At the end of this, if you still have questions about overtime and wage and hour law, contact a wage and hour lawyer in Ohio to help you determine if your rights are being violated or not.

Are You a Live-In Home Care Worker?

To be a live-in home care worker, you must live at the client’s house or spend at least 120 hours—or five consecutive days or nights—in the client’s home per week. This rule excludes home care workers who perform 24-hour shifts but do not spend 120 hours or five consecutive days or nights.

As a live-in home care worker, you still have rights to breaks, sleep, meals, and “off-duty” time. These off-duty hours are different than breaks in that they must be long enough for the worker to pursue personal enjoyment effectively. If you are only receiving a minimal amount of off-duty time and cannot effectively make use of your personal time, then talk with your employer or a Columbus wage and hour lawyer to rectify the situation.

Are You Employed Directly by the Client?

Working in-home care, employees may be employed either directly by the client or through an agency. Although you still must be paid minimum wage for all hours worked, this is an important distinction to make as there are a couple of exemptions to overtime payment.

For example, if a home care worker is hired to provide live-in services directly by the client, then the employee is employed by the client only. While the home care worker is still entitled to minimum wage, the client may be exempt from paying overtime, as the value of the housing the employee receives may count toward the wages the client is required to pay.

If a home care worker is employed by an agency that assigns employees to clients, then only the agency is responsible for ensuring that the worker receives overtime pay. Only clients may use the live-in domestic service employee exemption.

Are You Paid Hourly or Daily?

Home care workers—usually employed directly by clients—can be paid a daily rate, as long as the calculated hourly wage still meets the $7.25/hour federal minimum. For example, if a home care worker was paid $50 a day, and works five hours a day for five days, then in that week, they are being paid $10/hour, meeting the minimum requirement. The next week, they may work a total of 40 hours while being paid $50 a day. In that workweek, the calculated minimum wage is only $6.25/hour, and the employer must pay an additional $1/hour to reach the minimum wage.

Keeping track of days and hours worked is important to ensure accurate record-keeping and minimum wage or overtime are being kept. In the case that you are not being paid correctly through your employer, whether it be hourly, daily, by a client, or by agency, it’s important to have your own records and contact a wage and hour lawyer in Ohio to go over your case.

Coffman Legal is a Columbus employment attorney that specializes in unpaid overtime and wages. The employees of Ohio are important to maintaining an economically and socially encouraging environment for Ohio, and Coffman Legal recognizes that importance. The law firm happily welcomes any case to protect the rights of and improve the lives of employees.

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Which OPERS Retirement Plan is Best

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) offers three types of plans. Which is the best for you will depend on your circumstances and how involved you want to be in controlling how money put toward retirement and possible long-term disability is invested. Considerations to take include your age, whether you are married, whether you have children, your expected expenses after you turn 65, and if you have one or more health conditions that could force you to stop working before you reach retirement age.

The same caveats apply to participants in the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) in Columbus, Ohio, and participants in the School Employees Retirement System. Each option must be weighed carefully. Those and other public sector employee retirement programs offer complicated choices to enrollees.

As disability attorneys based in Columbus, OH, the lawyers with the Jones Law Group welcome opportunities to advise government workers, public safety personnel, and university faculty on their retirement and disability plan options. We cannot offer definitive answers here, but we will outline some basic features of the three OPERS choices.

OPERS Traditional Pension Plan

This is the kind of plan many people think of when they hear “government pension.” A participant’s employer makes all the contributions to the retirement and disability program, and benefits are paid out based on the participant’s years of service and the person’s age at the time he or she left public sector employment.

If you sign up for the Traditional Pension Plan, you do not need to pay attention to the stock market, 401(k)s or any of the quarterly and annual paperwork needed to manage investments. You will also have the option, unique among OPERS plans, to set up an annuity.

A possible downside is that the pension is fixed at what OPERS is required to pay based on the years-of-service-and-age formula.

OPERS Member-Directed Plan

Signing up for the OPERS Member-Directed Plan lets you set up your own retirement fund and control how a portion of your employer’s retirement plan contribution match is invested. You will need to designate a percentage of each paycheck to retirement.

While the Member-Directed Plan gives you the most say in where your money goes and potentially offers the largest returns on investments, it also limits your options for accessing your retirement funds. Unlike the traditional and combined plans, the Member-Directed Plan does not provide long-term disability benefits. It also does not pay a death benefit to the survivor of a plan participant.

OPERS Combined Plan

Columbus, Ohio, OPERS participants who opt for the Combined Plan get to control the investment of the portion of their paycheck they designate for retirement while also having their employers contribute to a traditional pension fund. At retirement, a Combined Plan participant receives fixed payments based on years of service and age at the time of separation. The participants also get to draw from their own retirement account that they managed like a 401(k).

The big caution here is that Combined Plan participants can lose principal when they invest their own funds. On the other hand, OPERS guarantees payment from the traditional pension portion of the plan.

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How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

All across the country, accident victims experience severe financial and material losses as a result of the injuries that they have suffered in a variety of different accidents. While it is true that many of the financial losses that accident victims incur involve the high costs of medical treatment, often the personal and financial consequences of a personal injury case will go well beyond covering medical bills. The consequences of a serious accident may often have a ripple effect throughout the accident victim’s life. Not only are personal relationships adversely affected, but professional relationships as well. If you are still sorting out the consequences of a serious accident, you need to discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer.

Process of Personal Injury Litigation

For most accident victims, financial restitution does not come quickly enough. Those who have suffered temporary injuries may have to endure months of physical therapy and ongoing medical treatments, missing weeks or months of work. During that time, it is likely that they will have to endure a lengthy period of time in which there is no money coming in while they wait for their temporary disability benefits to kick in. It may take several weeks, or even months, before any kind of compensation comes in, and in that time it is likely that they will suffer serious financial consequences, including financial hardship leading to bankruptcy. If you want to expedite the possibility of receiving compensation in a personal injury case, you need to discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer.

Many accident victims think that they are ineligible for compensation through the process of personal injury litigation because of the type of accident they were involved in. Of course, everyone knows that personal injury lawyers help those who have been injured in a car accident, but what other types of accidents satisfy the legal criteria for personal injury compensation? What if you have been injured by a defective product or in a slip and fall accident at a department store? The fact is that a personal injury lawyer can help you no matter where your injury occurred, as long as your accident case satisfies the legal criteria for compensation under your state’s personal injury laws.

Contact Personal Injury Lawyer

The easiest way to receive the financial restitution that you deserve for your personal, professional, and financial losses incurred in the aftermath of an accident is through the process of personal injury litigation. Through the process of personal injury litigation, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced earning potential and damaged property. Often an accident victim may also be eligible to receive punitive damages for their mental and emotional suffering. If you would like to learn more about the process of personal injury litigation, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Charlotte, NC right away.

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What Happens If You Get Bitten by a Dog?

No one intends to be bitten by a dog, but sometimes man’s best friend doesn’t know better or wasn’t properly raised to distinguish friend from foe. Maybe you unknowingly egged on the canine and a reflexive action on its part turned sour, and you’re left with a nasty bite.

So, what do you do when you’ve been bitten by someone’s dog? 

Seek Medical Attention

The first thing you need to do when bitten by a dog is to seek medical attention immediately. The risk of infection in an open wound is too high to simply go home and slap an adhesive bandage on the bite. Dog bite wounds will need to be professionally cleaned and dressed to prevent infection.

Depending on the situation, rabies vaccination may also be necessary to reduce the risk of contracting the disease yourself.

Compensation with a Columbus Dog Bite Attorney

The more severe dog bites can put you in the hospital—and out of work—for an indeterminate amount of time. As your medical bills pile up fighting infection or undergoing operations, you could also miss out on wages earned. This is when a Columbus dog bite attorney can help you seek compensation for your medical bills and injuries.

The Ohio Revised Code, like many other states, allows Columbus dog bite lawyers to help victims seek compensation for their injuries and bills. The Ohio Revised Code § 955.28 states that those in charge of a dog are liable in “damages for injury, death, or loss to a person that is caused by the dog . . .”  Liability falls on owners, keepers, and harborers of the canine. This means that if a friend of the owner had taken the dog on a walk through the park and that dog bit somebody, the friend becomes liable.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog and need to seek compensation for your injuries, contact Heit Law for a successful and professional Columbus dog bite attorney.

Defenses for Dog Bite Charges

While the Ohio Revised Code holds strict liability for owners of dogs that have bitten other people, there are defenses a Columbus dog bite defense attorney can use against someone seeking compensation.

Liability does not fall on a dog owner in certain situations such as the following:

  • The individual who was bitten was committing or attempting to commit a trespass on the property of the owner,
  • The bitten individual was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense against any person on the owner’s property, and

The bitten was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner’s property.

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What to Do if Your Vehicle is Repossessed

We all depend on transportation to get us to work, run errands, and more. For most of us, that means having a dependable vehicle that can get us from point A to point B. Unfortunately, vehicle repossession is a real threat for many families.

If you wake up to discover that your vehicle has been repossessed, there are some steps you should take, according to a repossession lawyer in Ohio.

Know why your vehicle was repossessed

First, you have to know why your vehicle was repossessed. The most likely reason is that you defaulted on your loan. If you do not make timely payments, if you don’t make full payments, or if you’ve stopped making payments altogether, your creditor has the right to take your vehicle and recoup the losses it has incurred.

However, there are other reasons why your vehicle might be repossessed. For example, it may be a case of not stipulating the terms of vehicle insurance on the loan contract, or not making insurance payments. If there is any confusion as to why your vehicle was repossessed, you should definitely give your creditor a call.

Understand your rights

It’s easy to feel a bit helpless if your car is repossessed. Because it has been repossessed due to a breach of contract that was caused by you, you may feel like there isn’t anything you can do, but it is important to know that you still have rights.

Although your vehicle can be repossessed, the items inside cannot. If you left something in your car, you have every right to reclaim those items. However, alterations you made to the vehicle aren’t likely to apply. If you just installed a high-quality speaker system, it will most likely have to stay with the car.

Determine the best way to get your vehicle back

You will likely want to get your vehicle back after it has been repossessed, but there are a few different ways you can go about it.

If you have the money to pay off the loan and pay the repossession fees, that is definitely the best course of action. The key is speaking with your lender and buying it before it goes to auction, otherwise, you’ll have to buy your own car back when it goes up on the auction block.

If you don’t have the money to buy it back, you can try and work out new payment terms with your lender. However, if you’re struggling financially, it’s a good idea to speak with a bankruptcy attorney. In some cases, you may discover that filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best course of action. It can allow you to regain possession of your vehicle while the terms of the loan are negotiated.

What to do if you allow your car to be sold at auction

If you can’t afford to purchase your vehicle in full, if your lender refuses to alter the terms of your loan, or if Chapter 13 bankruptcy isn’t an option, you may have to allow your car to be sold at auction.

However, keep in mind that you may still owe your creditor money. For example, if you had $10,000 left on your loan, but the car only sold for $7,000, then you still owe $3,000.

With so many things to consider, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of a repossession lawyer in Ohio who can help you figure out the best course of action.

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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Hiring a Calgary Divorce Lawyer MM Law

Divorce can be a life-shattering event, and many people don’t handle it well. When the divorce proceedings follow, you want to know you will be protected by a qualified and knowledgeable Calgary divorce lawyer. The right family law firm can tirelessly advocate for you and your children while in the courtroom. Never try to represent yourself because you stand to lose a lot without the right representation, and divorce will almost always have emotional ties that can fog your judgment: Read more

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