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U.S. District Court Overturns Companionship Exemption Rule Changes

The Home Care  Association of America and  The National Association for Home Care and Hospice announced today that the U.S. District Court for the District of HCAOA vs David WeilColumbia has ruled in their favor in the case regarding the Companionship Exemption Overtime Rule.  The rule, by Judge Richard J. Leon, grants the plaintiffs’ motion and vacates the U.S. Department of Labor’s efforts to deny third party employers access to the exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Department’s rule set to take effect on January 1, 2015, would have prevented home care companies from using the companionship exemption to avoid paying overtime.  The lawsuit challenged that rule.

According to Judge Leon’s ruling, “The language of the exemption is quite clear: ‘any employee’ who is employed to provide companionship services, or who resides in the household in which he or she is employed to perform domestic services, is covered by the exemption.”

The plaintiffs in the case are seeking a hold on the rule while other portions of the lawsuit are being considered.  While this is a huge win for the home care community, they believe an appeal will be filed by the DOL, so the fight is not over.

Here is a link to the Judge’s Ruling.  

Stay tuned to Private Duty Today and Leading Home Care Report for updates on the status of this lawsuit and the implementation of the DOL rule.
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