This brief examines overtime hours and hourly wages among home care workers (home health aides and personal care aides) and compares them with hospital and nursing home aides. These aides engage in similar work for their clients, even though they work in different institutional settings. Yet, home health aides and personal care aides have higher poverty rates (20 percent and 28 percent, respectively) than hospital aides and nursing home aides (about 12 percent for both). In addition, they typically work fewer hours per week, have lower rates of health insurance coverage, rely on public assistance to a greater extent, and receive lower hourly wages. Author Kristin Smith discusses the impact of the Department of Labor's issued proposed rule changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 that would narrow the "companionship exemption" so that most home care workers would no longer be exempt from overtime pay and minimum wage requirements.

Publication Date



National Issue Brief No. 43


Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2012. The Carsey Institute. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.