DOL's Home Care Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a new regulation governing home care services for seniors and people with disabilities. The new regulation may have an impact on the long-term care programs in some states. The rule was to go into effect January 1, 2015 but was subsequently struck down by a district court. Those with disabilities, seniors and their advocates should be informed about this rule and and be sure that it does not result in reduction or elimination of services.

A briefing from Gilliland, Maguire & Harper, PC states that "DOL’s Home Care Rule will be valid and enforceable law once summary judgment is granted by the District Court if the Court of Appeals’ decision is not overturned."

What does the Home Care Rule state?

According to the briefing, "DOL’s Home Care Rule prohibits home care and home health agencies from using the federal companionship services exemption and the live-in domestic service employee exemption. Companion and live-in workers who previously did not receive overtime pay under either of these federal exemptions would be entitled to receive overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Workers previously exempt under the companionship services exemption would also be entitled to receive minimum wage for all hours worked, including without limitation travel time during the workday."

Home Care Agencies have to make a difficult decision whether to pay for overtime hours worked starting January 1 2015. If the ruling is overturned, then agencies will have paid out the overtime when they weren't required to. Each Agency must evaluate their own situation.

Read the DOL's August 21, 2015 Litigation Update.