Thornton, CO asked in Employment Law for Colorado

Q: I am a live in caregiver paid hourly hired by an agency that did not receive overtime pay. Am I owed back pay?

I was told I was legally exempt from overtime pay in Colorado. I am an hourly employee that was employed by a small agency.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: Some direct support workers who provide in-home services to clients are “exempt” from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime laws, meaning their employer need not adhere to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime laws. This is called the “companionship exemption,” and it applies to workers who are employed to engage the client in “social, mental, and physical activities, such as conversation, games, and other activities” as well as being present with them in the home or accompanying them on errands. However, this exemption is often misapplied to workers who do NOT meet its requirements. You should contact a Colorado employment attorney to discuss your situation further, as this will be a very fact-specific inquiry.

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