Earlier this month the Supreme Court denied a request to delay enforcement of a new rule that extends minimum wage and overtime protections to certain home care workers. This means that certain home care workers that were previously exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements as live-in domestic service employees or companionship employees are no longer exempt.
The new rule revised and narrowed the definition of what constitutes “companionship services,” resulting in fewer employees that fall under this exemption. In addition, third-party employers, such as home care agencies, will not be able to claim either the live-in domestic service or companionship service exemptions to the FLSA—even if the third party is a joint employer with the household using the services. The new rule also requires that certain records be kept regarding domestic service employees.
The rule is effective—and immediately enforceable on November 12, 2015. Employers of home care workers should take steps now to ensure they are compliant.
Home care associations intend to ask the Supreme Court to review whether the new rule is valid. But, as of now, the Court has not agreed to hear the case and even if the Court does hear the case, that will not delay the effective date of the new rule.