On Monday, June 27, 2016, the United States Supreme Court released notification that it would not hear an appeal to the U. S. Department of Labor’s revised regulation that eliminated the Federal Companionship Exemption for home care workers. The original suit, Home Care Association of America et al versus Weil sought to overturn the DOL rule. The home care association won the suit at the Federal District Court level, but that ruling was overturned at the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was the last legal challenge and they have refused to hear the case.
The new overtime rule took effect in October, 2015.
The next step is for home care leaders to appeal to their member of Congress and Senators to pass new legislation re-instituting the companionship exemption.
In the mean time, home care companies across the country will need to pay overtime for caregivers working more than 40 hours per week.
The Home Care Association of America issued the following comment:
We will continue to pursue legislation in Congress, Ensuring Access to Affordable and Quality Home Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act (S. 2221 – Sen. Roberts and H.R. 3860 – Rep. Walberg) that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 with respect to the exemption from minimum wage and maximum hour requirements of domestic service employment to provide companionship services for individuals who because of age or infirmity are unable to care for themselves.
Now that the Supreme Court has acted, we are asking every HCAOA member to send a message to Congress to support the above legislation. Click HERE and take action today!
At Leading Home Care, we encourage you to get actively involved in this legislative initiative and reach out to your local legislators. We have already seen the impact of this rule on caregivers and clients. Caregivers who were working more than 40 hours are now having to get two jobs with different agencies to earn the same amount. Agencies are having to spend more time and money recruiting additional caregivers to meet the need of their clients. And, clients are having to receive care from more than one caregiver when previously they had a close working with one caregiver — or, they are forced to pay overtime for the same caregiver.
While a few caregivers are receiving overtime pay for working more than 40 hours, this appears to be a small minority of the caregivers in home care. Our interviews with leaders in home care across the country shows that there is little benefit to either caregivers or clients from this new interpretation of the law.