Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Department of Labor Home Care Final Rule and Litigation Update

Dana Halvorson

The Department of Labor’s Home Care Final Rule, which was released on Sept. 17, 2013, extends the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime protections to most of the nation’s workers who provide home care assistance to elderly people and people with illnesses, injuries or disabilities.

According to the DOL’s website, the Department issued the Home Care Final Rule to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to almost 2 million home care workers effective Jan. 1, 2015. However, on December 22, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon issued an opinion and order in Home Care Association of America v. Weil, Civil Action No. 14-967 (D.D.C.), vacating the third party regulation amended by the Home Care Final Rule. On January 14, 2015, Judge Leon issued an opinion and order vacating the Final Rule’s revised definition of companionship services. Noted on DOL’s website, the Department strongly disagrees with both orders, and they are considering all of their legal options.

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