Hall Render advised readers of a memorandum opinion issued December 22, 2014¹ by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in which it struck down some, but not all, of the revised companionship services regulations (the “Regulations”) that are currently set to become effective on January 1, 2015.
In this ruling, the court specifically overruled the DOL regulation that excludes third party employers from using the companionship services exemption. However, the Court did not address the revised definition of “Companionship Services” that was made much narrower by the Regulations. We advised you on Tuesday that additional rulings may be coming.
In an interesting turn of events, today, the U.S. District Judge presiding over this case granted the plaintiff’s Motion for a Temporary Stay of the effective date of the new definition of “companionship services” by issuing a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) against enforcement of the Regulations. This significant step means that the Regulations will not take effect January 1 – the current “companionship services” and “live-in” exemptions will remain intact, for now. A TRO can be in effect for no more than 14 days, so we expect the court to work quickly. A hearing on whether to extend the TRO to a Preliminary Injunction will occur during the second week of January, with a ruling to come on that order shortly thereafter.
For those in the home health and personal services industries, please check back often for updates and analysis on these important developments.