DOL Delays Enforcement of Federal Home Healthcare Rules

The federal government recently decided to delay enforcement of regulations extending minimum wage and overtime requirements to home healthcare workers for six months.

The Department of Labor (DOL) made the following announcement:

For six months, from January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015, the Department will not bring enforcement actions against any employer as to violations of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) obligations resulting from the amended regulations.

For the following six months, from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, the Department will exercise prosecutorial discretion in determining whether to bring enforcement actions, with particular consideration given to the extent to which States and other entities have made good faith efforts to bring their home care programs into compliance with the FLSA since promulgation of the Final Rule.

The DOL discusses specific details regarding the application of this non-enforcement policy in this Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Despite the enforcement delay, employers must still comply with the new rule as of January 1, 2015, and there is always the concern of private litigation.

For more information on provisions of the final rule, DOL has created several Fact Sheets.

California already extends minimum wage coverage to companions, as defined by the FLSA, and has provisions extending overtime to certain categories of workers providing in-home care.

Analyzing the interplay between state and federal law definitions and exemptions in this area is complicated. It is wise to seek the assistance of labor and employment counsel if you have any questions regarding the payment of home healthcare workers or other domestic workers. When both state and federal law apply, the law providing the most benefit to the workers will govern.

Source: HR Watchdog

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