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Requirements for Paying Direct Care Workers

If you have hired a direct care worker as an agency or an individual employer, federal law requires you to pay them at least the federal minimum wage, as well as overtime. Some common direct workers include caregivers, personal care aides, companions, certified nursing assistants, and home health aides. Unlike in the past, employers cannot exempt domestic workers that live with them from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.

The wages you pay your direct workers will be captured in your tax returns and other accounting books as an employer. You can be charged heavy penalties for not complying with the law, which is designed to protect workers.

The minimum wage

The minimum wages for federal workers is $10.00 an hour. There are states that have set the minimum wage higher than this. Where this is the case, the state law takes precedence over the federal law.

Overtime payment

The law states that the workers must be paid a rate that is at least one and a half times their normal hourly pay every hour after they have clocked 40 hours of work in a particular week.

Keep records

You are also required to keep a record of the basic pay and the work schedule of the direct care workers that are nonexempt. The schedule should show the number of hours they work in a week.

Keep track of how much you pay your employee and how much you withhold for taxes. It is a good idea to give them a pay stub every time you pay them. A pay stub should state the dates of the pay period (for example, May 1st to May 15th), the number of hours worked in that period, the hourly wage, the amount you pay before withholding taxes (number of hours worked multiplied by the hourly wage), and the amount the employee actually gets paid after you withhold taxes.

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