Tag Archives: companionship exemption

New Jersey Court: Meal Preparation, Other Tasks Properly Part of “Companion” Duties Under Old Test

In 2013 the Department of Labor announced new regulatory language that substantially limited the scope of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s companionship exemption. Those regulations, of course, were challenged through litigation which remains ongoing, and their implementation by the USDOL was delayed until many months after the original effective date of January 1, 2015. Though … Continue Reading

Caretakers’ Own Homes Were “Private Homes,” Rendering Them Exempt Companions

Though the USDOL’s new rule regarding overtime-eligibility for home care workers is currently in force, pending appeal, litigation continues over the prior rule. A new appellate ruling addresses the scope of the term “private home” for purposes of the prior rule, clarifying that the former exemption applies to caregiver work in the private homes of … Continue Reading

Ohio Federal Court Rules Home Care Agency Not Required To Pay Overtime To “Companions” During Temporary Vacatur Of New Federal Rules

Providing much needed guidance to industry employers still wrestling with fallout from the United States Department of Labor’s drastic reduction to the scope of the companionship exemption, District Court Judge Sandra S. Beckwith held this week that a home care agency properly relied on the temporary vacatur of the DOL’s new federal regulations in electing … Continue Reading

Ohio Federal Court Rejects Challenge to Application of Companionship Exemption to Home Health Aide

Last week, an Ohio, a federal judge held that a home health aide failed to demonstrate that she performed general housework unrelated to the care of her patients, and therefore qualified as a provider of companionship services under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s previous formulation of the “companion” exemption. As such, the home health aide … Continue Reading

Home Care Fallout: Increased Institutionalization?

Five days into the DOL’s enforcement of the new rule rendering most home health aides eligible for overtime under the FLSA, questions abound regarding how state Medicaid and Medicare-funded programs will comply with the rule within their current budgets.  One new report cautions consumers of home health care and their advocates to be aware of … Continue Reading

DOL Enforcement of Home Care Rule to Commence November 12, Subject to “Prosecutorial Discretion”

Chief Justice Roberts’ denial of the Home Care Association of America’s request for stay of issuance of mandate confirms that the new rule rendering many home health aides overtime-eligible is effective, pending appeal. In response to that denial, Wage-and-Hour Administrator David Weil issued a new policy statement confirming that the Department’s “non-enforcement period” for the new rule will end on November … Continue Reading

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.  The … Continue Reading

DC Judge Leon Also Vacates New Definition of “Companionship Services”

On the heels of his ruling vacating the DOL’s new rule (which was scheduled to be effective January 1st) rendering the FLSA’s companionship exemption unavailable to “third party” employers of companions, Judge Richard Leon has now issued a companion decision vacating the new, substantially narrowed definition of “companionship services” contained in the same DOL rulemaking.  … Continue Reading

DC Judge Invalidates Home Care Rule

Last evening, the Home Care Association of America followed in the footsteps of the Mortgage Bankers Association, obtaining a ruling that the DOL’s reversal of its position regarding the exempt status of agency-employed “companions” violated the Administrative Procedure Act.  Home Care Ass’n of Am. v. Weil, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176307 (D.D.C. Dec. 22, 2014).  … Continue Reading

DOL Policy Statement Delays (Government) Enforcement of Home Care Overtime Rule

In response to pressure from state governments and others fearing the increased cost of home care services, the Department of Labor announced Tuesday that it would delay its own enforcement of the new rule requiring that previously-exempt “companions” receive minimum wage and overtime.  The DOL’s Policy Statement stated that the DOL would not enforce the … Continue Reading

FLSA Coverage Extends to Majority of Home Care Workers

The Department of Labor continues carrying out its aggressive regulatory agenda, releasing the much-anticipated final rule extending FLSA minimum wage and overtime protection to direct care workers such as home health aides, personal care aides and certified nursing assistants working for home care agencies and other domestic services employers, and reversing the application of the … Continue Reading

Congress Confirms Perez As Secretary of Labor, Employers Brace for Agenda

After an at times testy and contentious confirmation proceeding, on July 18 the United States Senate confirmed President Obama’s nomination of Thomas Perez as the new Secretary of Labor, replacing the departed Hilda Solis. Some Republican Congressmen had questioned Perez’s conduct in a qui tam action in Minnesota.  Mr. Perez’s Senate confirmation vote was the result … Continue Reading

District Court Holds As A Matter of Law That Home Attendants Are Not Jointly Employed By New York City

Allegations of joint employment under the FLSA and other employment laws typically flow from control allegedly exercised by the purported “joint employer” over the primary employer and/or its employees. In a recent opinion rejecting such allegations, Magistrate Judge Joan Azrack of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted summary judgment … Continue Reading

DOL Regulatory Agenda: More Aggressive Activity Expected

With the President’s reelection, and significant new workplace law legislation unlikely given the large, divisive issues plaguing Capitol Hill, employers must remain vigilant in regard to the United States Department of Labor.  The DOL is expected to move forward aggressively with regulatory changes to implement its agenda.  Central to the Wage and Hour Division’s portion of … Continue Reading

Jackson Lewis Coverage of President Obama’s Reelection: Wage/Hour Implications

As touched upon in Jackson Lewis’ coverage of the employment law implications of President Obama’s reelection, employers are likely to see a continuation of the Department of Labor’s practices from the past four years during the next four. Per Jackson Lewis partner and former DOL Wage and Hour Administrator Paul DeCamp, these include: ·         Completion of … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Upholds Companionship Exemption, Despite Allegations of General Household Work

The Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Long Island Care at Home v. Coke, confirmed that the companionship exemption to minimum wage and overtime under the FLSA applies to individuals employed by third party agencies who provide companionship services in a private home. Regulations limit this exemption to companions who do not spend more than 20% of … Continue Reading

Countering USDOL, Republicans Submit Proposal to Codify Coke Exemption to Overtime for Companions

In an effort to counteract proposed USDOL rulemaking seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Long Island Care at Home v. Coke, in which the Court upheld the exemption’s historic application to individuals employed by third party agencies who provide health care services in a private home (Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. … Continue Reading

Debate Over Proposed Amendment to Homecare Exemption Rages On

The Department of Labor has extended for a second time the deadline for the public to submit comments regarding its proposed rulemaking relating to the “companionship exemption,” which would eviscerate the exemption from minimum wage and overtime applicable to many home care workers as affirmed and addressed by the Supreme Court in 2007. Currently, while state … Continue Reading

USDOL To Announce Proposed Domestic Service Rule Expanding Right To Overtime Pay

As we reported here, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor previously announced it would propose a rule regarding the applicability of the companionship exemption to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements. This longstanding exemption was the subject of a rare Supreme Court opinion on FLSA issues, in which the Court … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Companionship Exemption Applies to Employee Providing Elder Care in Private Home

As noted in our recent article regarding proposed amendments to the FLSA, individuals providing care to the infirm or elderly in a private home are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements pursuant to the companionship exemption, an exemption which was reviewed by the Supreme Court in its 2007 decision Long Island Care at … Continue Reading
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