Court Overturns Federal Home Health Workers Rules

Jan 16 2015 - Uncategorized - Gail Cecchettini Whaley

A recent federal court ruling ditches the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final home health care rule, which extended federal minimum wage and overtime requirements to home health care workers. Another key portion of the rule was struck down by the same court in December.

Judge Leon, ruling for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, concluded that “Here, yet again, the [DOL] is trying to do through regulation what must be done through legislation.”

The DOL previously decided to delay enforcement of the regulations, even though employers were required to comply beginning January 1.

Now, the federal court has vacated key provisions of the new rule. It will not go into effect unless the DOL succeeds in an appeal. The DOL issued a statement that it “strongly disagrees” with the federal court rulings, “stands by” the final rule and is “considering all of [its] legal options.”

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

It is wise to seek the assistance of labor and employment counsel if you have any questions regarding the payment of home health care workers or other domestic workers.

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

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