In the latest litigation chapter involving the U.S. Department of Labor’s rule extending minimum wage and overtime requirements to certain home care workers, a home care industry coalition has taken its challenge of the rule to the U.S. Supreme Court. On November 18, 2015, the plaintiffs in Home Care Association of America v. Weil filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court seeking review of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision upholding the DOL’s Home Care Rule and reversing the lower court’s decisions vacating the new rule. The Home Care Rule, among other things, prevents third-party employers of home care “companions” or live-in caregivers for the elderly and disabled from availing themselves of the longstanding statutory exemptions from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and/or overtime requirements. The Supreme Court has the discretion to grant or deny review of the D.C. Circuit’s decision.
The D.C. Circuit’s mandate issued on October 13, 2015, and in accordance with the mandate, District Court Judge Richard Leon entered summary judgment in favor of the DOL on October 20, 2015. The Supreme Court previously denied the plaintiffs’ application to stay the effective date of the new rule pending the filing of the petition for a writ of certiorari. Accordingly, the Home Care Rule is currently in effect, and any third-party home care provider that has been treating its companionship or live-in employees as exempt from minimum wage and/or overtime must comply with the new rule.