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Home Care Workers Will Be Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Startup HomeHero Says

March 14, 2016

HomeHero will begin classifying its home care workers as full-fledged employees rather than as independent contractors, joining several other home care startups in making the switch.

Based in Santa Monica, California, HomeHero is an online marketplace that connects home care workers with consumers based on their care needs. 

HomeHero is currently available in select California markets and employs approximately 1,500 home care workers, co-founder and CEO Kyle Hill told BuzzFeed on March 1.

Hill says that upgrading all of those workers to employee status will help improve care continuity for consumers.

“These are people that may be with your mom or dad for the rest of their life,” Hill told BuzzFeed. “We felt that empowering our caregivers, giving them health and vision and 401(k) plans and benefits and workers’ comp, just allows us to really invest long-term in these relationships.”

HomeHero also needed to make its workers full-fledged employees to fulfill a new venture called HomeHero Collaborative, a partnership with hospitals designed to reduce readmission rates.

“Under Internal Revenue Service rules, HomeHero could not direct its independent contractors to complete health care checklists or to follow strict patient privacy guidelines, controls the company needed to win hospital business,” Los Angeles Business Journal reporter Garrett Reim wrote in a March 1 article.

HomeHero’s chief rival in the emerging home care startup market, the San Francisco-based Honor, upgraded its home care workers to employee status earlier this year.

Yet another home care startup, Hometeam, offers services in certain East Coast markets. It, too, classifies its workers as employees with W-2 status.

— by Matthew Ozga

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