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I have been an in home caregiver for the same family for 2 years at least 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. The wife will be 90 and the husband just passed away, Her family is taking her up north for at least a month. I will have to look for another job without that income. Should I expect to be paid in her absence? I have never taken a vacation since I have been with them. She has no family here and when she returns, I'm sure they expect me to continue caring for her. I am out of line to ask to be paid?

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I don't think it would be out of line to ask if they expect you to be available when she comes back. It's always possible that she will NOT come back. Explain that you will have no income while she is away, and won't be able to get a new job for such a short time. Ask if they would consider paying you something, as a sort of retainer, to tide you over.

Explain that, while the weekly wage you receive seems large to them when they have to pay it, that is your entire source of income.

If they are well enough off, they "should" give you something as a bonus or gift. However, I think your best bet is to be nice, not demanding, if you want to continue to work for them.

Paid or not, you should at least look around to find out what work is available if she doesn't come back, or dies.

This work is so hard and important, but the people who need the care have a hard time paying for it, and the people who do the work get paid very little.
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The 90 year old initially hired me, however she has dementia so everything goes through the family up north including payment. I do not live on-site. I looked at the laws, vacation is not required. We did not sign a contract. Thanks!
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Well, first of all, who actually hired you to be a caregiver? Who signs the checks? Do you have a contract?

You need to research the laws in your particular state - but by definition, I believe you'd be called a domestic service employee. Do you live off-site?

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs25.htm#.UO16l6w914o
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