The unionization of in-home workers, such as the in-home caregivers discussed here, has been a goal of labor unions. But in addition to the difficulties of reaching and persuading home-based workers to join a union, there are numerous statutory obstacles.

As noted at the outset of this Policy Brief, the National Labor Relations Act does not allow the unionization of such private in-home care workers. The NRLA specifically excludes those employed “in the domestic service of any family or person at his home.” The NRLA likewise excludes independent contractors and any employee of a “State or political subdivision thereof.”[81] State laws have not specifically allowed someone to be classified as a public employee simply because he or she is paid money by a government program for providing services.