This fall, the California legislature passed a bill (AB241) which was signed by the Governor. It will change the way families privately employ and agencies pay and bill for 24 hour live-in caregivers.
All caregivers working in private homes will need to keep a sleep log to prove they are getting at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep and have at least three hours of other down or nap time during their 24 hour day. They also must be paid at least minimum wage for nine hours and the remaining seven hours are paid at time and a half.
If you hire privately, be very careful to document this so you will not be obligated for back wages. If you use an agency, ask them how they will protect your family member and keep your caregiver well-rested and employed according to the new rulings.
If your caregiver doesn’t get five uninterrupted hours of sleep, you will need to pay time and a half for all wake hours she or he was with you. There will be no deduction for sleep time.
At Eldercare Services, we will be monitoring much like we have in the past, to ensure good care and safety for caregivers. A sleepy caregiver is not going to be good the next day and you need employees who are aware of changes in condition, can be good companions, and are ready to assist with all the details of keeping someone with many needs well-cared-for. As in the past, if caregivers are not getting a good night’s rest, we will suggest a sleep-over caregiver or sometimes two 12-hour shifts.
Our Professional Care Managers can also work with the client’s doctor to see if we can change something in the environment or in how medications are being taken that would help our client with a good night’s sleep – thus caregivers get good rest as well.
With a lot of changes in requirements, we’re working hard to be compliant and to protect our clients and our caregivers.