Originally answered on Quora – Do I violate any laws if I work directly with a client while I am employed by a home care agency?
Caregivers do not violate any laws working directly with a client while employed by a home care agency provided they did not meet the client through the agency they work for.
If they were introduced to the client by the home care agency and then went to work for them privately the caregiver would probably be violating anti-solicitation clauses in their hiring contract and the client would have employee buyout fees in client service contracts.
Caregivers should be very cautious about accepting offers that place them in the position of violating their employment contract since they could be terminated for cause if the employer finds out. Caregivers working directly for clients often have difficulty when they lose a client and they are forced to find other means. Often they will find themselves back in facility or agency employ to obtain adequate work. Is the value of the relationship and temporary employment worth breaking a contract and the loss of a potential employer? Not in most cases but exceptions exist.
Some Clients seek to hire directly to avoid pains associated with home care and gain more control over their supports. This is most commonly due to cost, frustration with agency practices or a bond with a specific caregiver. Clients with shorter visits occurring more than 3 times a week should consider carefully before hiring directly due to the staffing issues they would be taking on. As visit times get longer and visits per week are less frequent it becomes more manageable for clients to consider direct hiring. Service contracts may include buy-out terms so that clients have a means of hiring a caregiver placed through an agency while protecting the investment of the agency in finding and recruiting great caregivers.