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I am 34 year old male live-in caregiver taking care of a 94 year old dementia patient. The original Arrangement cited free room and board prior to my boss doing some investigating on Maryland labor laws for live-in caregiver. Since said investigation has been done and the contract has been drawn up I am now being paid minimum wage because of the amount of hours that I work. Obviously anything over 40 hours is time and a half. Originally I was to be paid $1,200 a week with free room and board. My work includes but is not limited to bathing my patient feeding him, cooking, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, doing the grocery shopping, changing his catheter, as well as doing his wound care as he came home from the hospital with a severe bed sore. As I am not a nurse I am however trained as an emergency medical technician and do have prior wound care training from my previous patient who was a paraplegic. On top of all said duties, I also at my own accord provide lawn care, as well as Plumbing maintenance in the house and fixing the washing machine when it broke. I do not mind doing these jobs as my patient becomes very upset when there are new people in and out of the house. I also enjoy fixing things. My boss, who is my patients son age lives in Michigan, had stated that after studying Maryland labor laws for a live in caregiver that I am required to pay rent, as well as 50% of the cost of groceries. I am very concerned that I'm being taken advantage of. As my patients level of dementia increases, the amount of sleep that I get decreases substantially. As of this week I get about 3 hours of sleep a night. Monday Wednesday and Friday when I get my 4-Hour breaks, I usually end up spending it in bed, and I also burn up a significant amount of time from my 12 hour break (of which I get every other Saturday) sleeping. I also spend EVERY HOLIDAY with my patient, and thus far have received no extra compensation. I am acutely aware, and was aware, that by taking this job I would end up sacrificing my social life. I am fine with this as long as I am duly compensated. And this is my main concern. I feel as though I'm being not only taken advantage of but financially ripped off. Could someone please provide me with some feedback advising me as to what Maryland laws are for a live-in caregiver who provides said services? I have become very emotionally attached to my patient, and do not want to risk being separated from him. I gave him my word that I would be by his side until the very end and I am a man of my word. I care so deeply for this man that I would not want to leave him as I am certain it would not only upset him to see me go but ultimately lead to his demise. Any feedback and or help would be greatly appreciated as I am extremely confused at this point on what to do. I also would like to know how best to approach this with my boss without seeming over zealous or too forward. Thank you so much for your time and information I greatly appreciate it.

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Is the son taking care of taxes, or are you considered an independent contractor?

Regardless, you are being taken advantage of. I remember someone not too long ago was bragging that she was making $72K/year PAID BY NYS to take care of someone.

DON'T back down. Make the son blink first. HE is in the wrong. You should have MORE time off, and be paid more for the hours you work. If you tally up your hours, you are being paid less than minimum wage.
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If I were you, I would have no problem paying rent and food costs out of my newly negotiated/much higher salary.

You want cheap help, ya gotta give free housing and food. You want to collect rent, ya gotta pay a living wage.
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I don't know much about laws so my comment will be about you. I care for an 82 yr. old man with dementia and other health problems. This is what I have learned from my experience. You can't take care of anyone else if you don't take care of yourself first. This does not mean you are selfish but instead realistic. I also learned I am a person that finds satisfaction in being of help to others. Very few of my friends understand this and think I am making a mistake. That is them - NOT - me. I am happy with my decision and my friend is very appreciative.
So, it seems to me that what you need to find is someone with credentials and the knowledge to negotiate for you. Who will pay for this person is the problem.
Again, by taking care of yourself you will be taking care of someone else.
Hang in there!
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Another thought....call an agency that provides live-in care. They certainly know the law.
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Mdcourts.gov Under ' self help' free legal advice on the phone

Ask him to show you where it says in Maryland law that you have to pay rent and groceries.
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I think your compassion is being exploited. See if Legal Aid will help you sort this out.
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I'm thinking that if you study labor laws as well, you might find that you're working far more hours than are allowed under MD's labor statutes.

Does the contract you signed with the patient or his son address amendments to the contract? In writing? Agreed to by both parties? Whether or not the terms can be changed would in my mind hinge from the existing contract and the provisions for amendments, and whether you would agree to the changes the person wants.

Beyond that, I don't know enough about live-in caregiver arrangements to know whether the caregiver should be paying rent. But I do think you're being exploited for all the work you do.

Not to be facetious or joking, I wonder how these arrangements were handled in England for people in service. They worked long hours, had room and board, and presumably were paid. But did they have to pay for lodging?
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It sounds like someone did a "bait and switch" on you. This is a con game where you lead someone to believe they are going to receive one thing. Then after they commit, they give something of lower value. In your position, I wouldn't tolerate it. I would hand in my notice. Most likely this was either done intentionally or as employer-remorse. It was wrong. Your skills will be more appreciated elsewhere.
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Maryland law requires a contract in writing. The contract must include the terms listed below:
• Work ◦ Work Schedule (days/hours)
◦ Duties
◦ Whether an employer can require worker to perform additional duties

• Payment ◦ Salary
◦ How often worker will be paid
◦ Deductions
◦ Overtime pay

• Paid/Unpaid Time Off ◦ Sick Leave
◦ Vacation Time
◦ Holidays

• Living Conditions ◦ Living accommodations to be provided
◦ Deductions for food and lodging, if any

• Termination of the Contract ◦ Severance pay, if any
◦ Notice required before termination of contract

• Additional Terms ◦ Length of the contract
◦ Reimbursement for work related expenses
◦ Notice of employment rights under Maryland law
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