On October 6, 2015, Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court of the United States summarily denied the emergency stay application filed by the association plaintiffs in Home Care Association of America v. Weil. In the absence of a stay, the new U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulations extending the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements for home health care workers employed by third-party employers are expected to go into effect on October 13, 2015.
As we reported previously, on August 21, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Home Care Association of America v. Weil overturned a lower court decision that struck down the new regulations just before they were scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2015. Both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court denied the associations’ requests to delay the effective date. Thus, the Court of Appeals is expected, on October 13, 2015, to issue its mandate making the new regulations effective. The association plaintiffs intend to file a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States, but, in the absence of any court-ordered stay, the new regulations will continue in effect pending the Supreme Court’s consideration of the petition for certiorari.
On September 9, 2015, the DOL had issued a policy statement confirming that it will not begin enforcement of the new regulations against any employer for violations of FLSA obligations until 30 days after the appeals court issues its mandate. Assuming the Court of Appeals issues the mandate on October 13, 2015, the DOL will hold off on enforcement actions until November 12, 2015. On October 6, 2015, the DOL announced that once the DOL’s hold on enforcement actions expires it will nonetheless “exercise its prosecutorial discretion in determining whether to bring enforcement actions, giving strong consideration to the extent to which states and other entities have made good faith efforts to bring their home care programs into compliance.”
Given the impending effective date, home care companies must implement their plans, if they have not done so already, so that they are in compliance with the new regulations as of October 13, 2015.