U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance Regarding the New Home Care Final Rules

140226-stethoscope-1940_94ff34e0e567519779f514f64b3c7cfeBY:  TIMOTHY C. HAUGHEE

JUNE 23, 2014

Last September, we reported that the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) had issued final regulations significantly narrowing the “companionship services” exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Effective January 1, 2015, this change expands minimum wage and overtime coverage to an estimated two million workers employed by home care agencies or other third parties.

Last week, the DOL issued two pieces of guidance in an effort to assist employers of home care workers in determining their obligations under the FLSA. Most notably, the two new pieces of guidance, which includes a new Administrator’s Interpretation and a revised Fact Sheet, will help private home care agencies that administer or participate in a consumer-directed, Medicaid-funded home care program evaluate whether they may be considered “joint employers” under the FLSA. If multiple employers are considered “joint employers,” then both companies are responsible for FLSA compliance and could be held jointly and severally liable for FLSA claims brought by employees of either company.

The new Administrator’s Interpretation can be found here and the revised Fact Sheet can be found here.

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