Greater Rights for Home Health Workers

Colorado state overtime law provides greater rights to overtime pay for those employed as in-home care givers and personal care attendants, when compared to federal law. While similar jobs in other states may not be legally entitled to overtime pay, those employed through home health companies in Colorado may indeed be entitled to time and a half for working overtime.


On September 24, 2015 a federal judge in Colorado handed down a decision finding that Colorado’s state overtime laws require the payment of overtime wages to home care workers employed by an agency.

Common Payment Practices for Home Health Care Workers

It is common practice across the country for in-home care givers to be paid hourly with straight time pay for all hours worked. This practice may, however, violate the Colorado Minimum Wage Act which draws a distinction between “companions” and personal care attendants (PCAs). By state Wage Order minimum wage and overtime coverage are extended to “[a]ny business or enterprise engaged in …home health care, hospice care… and includes any employee who is engaged in the performance of work connected with or incidental to such business or enterprise.”

To be considered a Personal Care Attendant (and entitled to overtime pay), one must be employed by a company or agency and perform duties beyond mere companionship such as the following:

  • Dressing / undressing
  • Bathing
  • Toileting / incontinence care
  • Medication reminders / picking up medications
  • Personal hygiene assistance
  • Meal preparation

Given the significant number of hours PCAs typically work each week, the amount of back pay due can be rather large.

For example, if the hourly pay rate is $12 and an average week consists of 75 hours work, of which 35 hours are considered overtime, the calculation would be as follows:

$12 / 2 = $6 x 35 hours = $210/week due in back pay x 2 years = $21,000

Home health care workers perform some of the most physically and emotionally demanding jobs in our economy and deserve to be paid ALL of the hard-earned wages they are legally owed.  The failure to fully and properly compensate home health care workers is unfair and takes a toll not only on these workers, but on society’s ability to care for the elderly and disabled.

Do You Believe You Are Entitled to Overcome?

If you have any doubts as to your entitlement to overtime, you should contact the experts at The Lore Law Firm to find out more about your rights as a home health worker under the Colorado and federal labor laws on overtime – because it’s your time and your money.  The review of your circumstances is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL and cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, meaning there are no upfront costs and no fees if there is no recovery.