Fair Labor Standards Act (Homecare Rule)

Last week, three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments related to Home Care Association of America v. Weil which challenges the Home Care Final Rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) and intended to be implemented on January 1, 2015. The rule was put on hold due to a pair of rulings from the US District Court vacating the challenged provisions. The suit challenges DOL’s authority to 1) revise the definition of companionship services and 2) discontinues the exemption of overtime compensation by third party employers of home care workers who provide companionship services from overtime compensation. The Court of Appeals is expected to issue a decision this summer. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/.

Department of Labor – Homecare Rule

Recently, Secretary Thomas Perez, Department of Labor, sent a letter to Governors advising them to be prepared to implement the Fair Labor Standards Act to domestic service (referred to as the Homecare Rule), and therefore be mindful of budgetary considerations. The rule, initially intended to be implemented on January 1, 2015, was put on hold due to a pair of rulings from the US District Court vacating provisions. The Department of Labor has filed an appeal, and in response, the Court of Appeals has ordered that it proceed on an expedited schedule. The case will be fully submitted in early May, and the Court of Appeals can issue a decision at any point thereafter. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/.

Home Care Final Rule

As anticipated, last week the Department of Labor (DOL) filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the lawsuit brought by associations of home care companies (Home Care Association of America v. Weil, Civil Action No. 14-967), which challenged the Home Care Final Rule. In particular, the suit challenged DOL’s authority to 1) revise the definition of companionship services and 2) discontinues the exemption of overtime compensation by third party employers of home care workers who provide companionship services.

Amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act in the Home Care Final Rule Struck Down

On December 22, 2014, in Home Care Association of America v. Weil, Civil Action No. 14-967 (D.D.C.), D.C. District Court Judge Richard Leon struck down the amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act in the Home Care Final Rule which disallows third party employers of home care workers to exempt workers who provide companionship services from overtime compensation. On December 31, 2014, Judge Leon issued a temporary restraining order staying the revised definition of companionship until January 15, 2015, in order to consider plaintiffs’ motion. On January 8, 2014, Judge Leon consolidated the two issues to be considered at a hearing which took place on Friday, January 9, 2015. Another hearing to inform the parties of his decision will be held on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. The Department of Labor continues to support its rule and is in opposition to the plaintiff’s motion.