join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
GET OUR FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

Appeals Court Agrees with DOL: Home Health Care Workers Employed by Third Parties Have a Right to Minimum Wage, Overtime

Domestic service workers providing either companionship service or live-in care for elderly, ill or disabled persons and who are employed by a staffing agency or other third-party employer are entitled to minimum wage and overtime for their services, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The ruling, issued this past Friday, overturned a lower court decision that had found new regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor invalid and unenforceable. Friday’s reversal means that the case will be remanded to the lower court for the grant of summary judgment to the DOL, thus reinstating the DOL’s regulations affecting more than 2 million home care workers.

D.C. Court of Appeals Backs DOL Reversal of Long-Standing Overtime Exemption for Home Care Agency Workers

Until recently, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had long interpreted the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as exempting companionship-services workers and live-in domestic service workers employed by third-party employers (i.e., “home care agencies”) from the FLSA’s minimum wage and/or overtime requirements. In 2013, however, the DOL adopted regulations reversing that established position, finding that the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements protect home care agency workers and sending shockwaves throughout an entire industry.

D.C. Circuit Upholds DOL’s Home Care Rule; Further Appeals Likely

On August 21, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) upheld the United States Department of Labor’s (“DOL’s”) Home Care Rule and reversed the lower court’s decisions vacating the new Rule. In the Home Care Rule, issued in October 2013, the DOL declared that third-party employers of home care “companions” or live-in caregivers for the elderly and disabled could no longer avail themselves of the longstanding statutory exemption from overtime requirements. The new Rule also set a maximum 20 percent threshold for any caregiving services to be provided by home care companions, regardless of their employer, to qualify for exempt status. The effect of the new Home Care Rule(s) is to require overtime to be paid for the first time to more than 90% of all home caregivers throughout the country.

Companionship Exemption Changes In Effect

The latest twist in the ongoing saga involving the U.S. Department of Labor's changes in its regulatory provisions affecting the Fair Labor Standard Act's Section 13(a)(15) "companionship" exemption and the FLSA's Section 13(b)(21) overtime exemption for "live-in domestics" came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Companionship Services Providers Once Again Eligible for Overtime

An estimated 2 million direct care workers -- such as home health aides, personal care aides and certified nursing assistants -- who are not directly employed by the family or household using their services are no longer exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

DOL's Final Rule Upheld By D.C. Court Of Appeals

BREAKING NEWS: The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled today that the US Department of Labor's ("DOL") Final Rule on the Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to Domestic Service (the "Final Rule") is valid, because it is "grounded in a reasonable interpretation of the statute (FLSA) and is neither arbitrary nor capricious." Under the Final Rule, home care agency workers are no longer covered by the FLSA's companionship services exemption or its live-in domestic worker exemption. This decision is of serious concern to the home care industry. Whether the decision will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court remains to be seen.

Federal Appeals Court Reinstates New Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Requirements for Home Health Care Workers Employed By Third-Party Employers

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Home Care Association of America v. Weil reinstated the U.S. Department of Labor’s regulations extending the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements for home health care workers employed by third-party employers. Today’s federal appeals court decision overturns a lower court decision that struck down the new regulation just before it was scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of 2015. The appeals court decision does not mean that the minimum wage and overtime requirements will go into effect immediately. The case will likely now return to the district court with instructions by the federal court of appeals for the court to issue a decision upholding the regulations unless there is further review of the case by either the full panel of the District of Columbia Circuit or the Supreme Court of the United States.

DC Circuit Upholds DOL's End to Companionship Exemption for Third-Party Agencies

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today ruled that the U.S. Department of Labor’s decision to reverse its prior position and extend the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime protections to employees of third-party agencies who provide companionship services and live-in care within a home was a reasonable interpretation of the law.

Evaluating USDOL's Proposals: Avoid Dangerous Assumptions

Employers are of course continuing to evaluate the impact of the U.S. Labor Department's proposed increase in the minimum dollar amount for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions' salary requirement.

"Yelping" Does Not Entitle You To Minimum Wage

Another Court has joined those holding providers of content to online portals are not employees within the meaning of wage-and-hour laws. Joining a decision from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which rejected a claim brought by Huffington Post bloggers several years ago, Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California has rejected the FLSA complaint of individuals who claimed they were employees based on their writing of reviews contained on popular local restaurant review service Yelp. Jeung v. Yelp, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107427 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 13, 2015).