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Wage and Hour Division
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Home Care

We Count on Home Care

Are rest breaks, meal breaks, and travel time considered work time?

Employers are not required to pay for the time that direct care workers are completely relieved of their duties as long as the breaks meet certain criteria. This includes meal breaks, sleep time, personal time, breaks while accompanying a client on overnight travel away from home, and other uninterrupted periods long enough for a worker to use the time effectively for his or her own purposes.

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Certain travel time, however, must be paid. For example, if a worker travels between the homes of more than one client during the day on behalf of the same home care agency or drives the person he or she assists to medical appointments, on errands, etc., then that travel is considered all in a days work and must be paid.

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