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DOL Releases Guide to Home Care Sleep Time Wages

April 28, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor has published a wage guide explaining the circumstances in which home care workers must be paid for sleep time.

The guide outlines the differences between home care workers who work shifts longer or shorter than 24 hours, as well as those who work as live-in caregivers, in terms of whether they must legally be paid for their sleep time.

The guide also explains how the new federal rule extending overtime pay to home care workers pertains to sleep time.

A new DOL fact sheet (pdf) includes a chart that summarizes sleep-time policies for several different kinds of domestic workers.

According to the fact sheet:

In some circumstances, an employer may exclude up to eight hours an employee spends sleeping at the worksite from the time for which an employee must be paid. The requirements for excluding sleep time vary depending on whether an employee is a “live-in” employee, is working a shift of 24 hours or more, or is working a shift of less than 24 hours. For all employees whose sleep time can usually be excluded, any interruptions to sleep time by a call to duty must be paid, and if the employee is interrupted such that he or she cannot get reasonable periods of sleep totaling at least five hours, the entire night must be paid.

— by Matthew Ozga

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