Implementing Home Care Reforms

Today, two million home care workers are excluded from the basic minimum wage and overtime protections of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—protections that almost every other worker has depended on for decades. Home care workers provide the vital care that allows older adults and persons with disabilities needing care to remain in their own homes. Yet this critical workforce is shut out of basic federal wage laws as the result of overly broad U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations, issued in 1974, which converted what Congress intended to be a very limited exemption for workers providing certain “companionship” services into a wholesale exclusion. The Department of Labor aimed to rectify this historic injustice by issuing revised rules in 2013. NELP is working to ensure that states are prepared to implement and enforce this new law. You can help.

Home Care Association of America v. Weil and What it Means for Home Care Worker Rights

A lawsuit brought by home care industry groups has created uncertainty about the status of the United States Department of Labor’s (US DOL) companionship rules change. On January 14, 2015, a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C. struck down US DOL’s revised definition of exempt companionship services. This ruling follows one in late December invalidating DOL’s new third-party employer exemption. US DOL has appealed the judge’s ruling and has been granted an expedited appeal schedule. The DC Circuit could rule on the appeal as soon as this spring.

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The FLSA “companionship exemption”









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