Student caregivers suing for $200k for 1 year of back wages; were paid board and room for 10 hrs. per wk. each of caregiving


I would like to find a family caregiver or other organizations which could help me in my legal battle. Three students who were given room and board in exchange for 10 hours each of caregiving per week have sued for $200k in back wages. One was there one year, two 6 months. Because of recent law changes, I was told my legal position is unfavorable. Of course the students are lying. Unions are backing efforts of caregivers to organize and lead the way to a higher minimum wage in the country. They're poster children are immigrants who have been enslaved in the U.S. as domestic workers. The unions have supported new laws and regulations on the Federal and state levels. While I support a minimum wage increase generally, some of these laws and regulations are draconian, they seem to be union wish lists. They appear to have been enacted without any input from families with children or frail elders, particularly families with Alzheimer's patients. The laws can force the family to in essence provide virtually free room and board. The mandated wages can be higher than the minimum. The workers can collect wages during a full nights sleep in their own beds. This sleeptime can then trigger time and a half pay. The family can be forced to hire another caregiver to give regular caregiver a "break" during the day. The distinction between companionship and hands on care appears to be universally gone. Caregivers who simply reside in the house, basically as a renter without a family presence, and go about their online business or studies while being accessible to the elder, should there be a need, are apparently due 24/7 wages, including time and a half for overtime. Even before these draconian laws, family members who care for frail elders at home suffer isolation, lost of health, and the total depletion of assets and the loss of family houses. The burden for care often falls on the poorest and disabled woman in the family, without compensation. The new laws which mandate that caregivers be paid far more than the minimum wage, in actuality, will result in more of the burden falling on families. The laws will result in further loss of the family caregiver's health and shortening of their lives. The laws will result in a further decline of home ownership to the next generation and reduce the housing stock. Spare bedrooms of elderly people are now seen as an untapped resource. But as horror stories pile up, people will understand that renting them out the spare rooms or using them for student housing exchanges can lead to the tenant's legally taking over the elders houses by fraudulently claiming they worked for them.

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Well, if there is three they can't claim 24/7. Do you have any paperwork, ie contract, emails clarifying the exact arraignment, time sheets or schedules of who and when, were others living in the house that could verify the children were not 24/7. The youth of today has some serious entitlement issues, I run a business and the I showed up I deserve top pay, doesn't matter I did nothing attitude tells me we are screwed when this generation is making decisions about our benefits and care. Good luck and I hope you have paperwork, texts, emails or?

Did you really mean $200,000? Or is it more like $20,000. I'm a little confused.

For licensed caregiver services, if a caregiver stays overnight, they are still considered to be working because if the elder should need anything through the night, the caregiver is there to help or assist as needed.

If a review of the elders medical chart shows they need medication management or help with ADLs on toileting/bowel/ or other hygiene issues or were a fall risk, a caregiver would be basically “on call” even if they are sleeping in a bed provided to them and whether or not their from an agency or a person you hired on your own.

Btw saying “in their own bed” “simply reside in the house” in court will bring peals of laughter & not in your favor. Your not apt to get much sympathy. If you do not have an existing contract for each caregiver all above board with signature, witnesses, notarized,..... then cut a deal, make a settlement and next time hire a caregiver with a licensed agency & pay the minimum block of time at $20-35 hr subject to FICA wage.

I suspect the issue is first going to turn on whether or not there were binding contracts in place between the family/"employer" and the caregivers. If not, you face the monumental battle of proving your allegations. If the agreements were based on oral representations, your battle is even tougher.

I sense there's a lot more to this situation than allegedly owed back wages.

I'm all for domestic workers organizing to ensure they are not taken advantage of, those who live in are extremely vulnerable to abuse and often fear that asserting their legal rights will land them homeless and penniless - unfortunately they are often right to be afraid. Clear legal guidelines and formal contracts benefit both employer and employee because everyone would have an understanding of their rights and obligations, thus avoiding the kind of situation you find yourself in.