The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that it will start next month enforcing the new “Home-Care” Final Rule, which prohibits third-party employers from taking advantage of the overtime exemption for certain domestic service workers and redefines the term “companionship services” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
As our readers know, in August the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found in Home Care Association of America v. Weil that the Final Rule was valid.
The plaintiffs, associations that represent home-care staffing agencies, asked the Supreme Court to stay (suspend) the Final Rule pending their request for Supreme Court review of the D.C. Circuit decision.
This week, the Supreme Court denied the stay, meaning that the DOL is free to begin enforcing the Final Rule. The associations’ challenge to the Final Rule itself will continue.
The DOL announced on Wednesday that it will begin enforcing the Final Rule on November 12. The DOL will exercise its prosecutorial discretion with respect to any violations found between now and the end of the calendar year, taking into consideration (among other things) the employer’s good-faith attempts to comply with the Final Rule.
The Final Rule was originally issued by the DOL in October 2013 with an original effective date of January 1, 2015. It remains open to question whether individual plaintiffs can pursue alleged violations dating all the way back to January 1, 2015.