Efforts To Curtail The FLSA's "Companionship" Exemption Possibly Moving To The Regulatory Arena.

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In late June, we noted legislation introduced in the Senate and in the House of Representatives that would essentially repeal the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(15) "companionship" exemption in any practical sense. U.S. Labor Department regulations and interpretations elaborate upon how and to whom the exemption may be applied.

Recent correspondence (link below) from the 28-member Eldercare Workforce Alliance to U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis suggests that proponents of such a change are re-directing their focus from legislation to regulatory limitations. This letter urges DOL to take "timely action" by imposing a "revised interpretation of the exemption that will extend greater federal minimum wage and overtime protection under FLSA to the more than 1,500,000 paid home- and community-based care workers who provide essential services to our nation's older adults and people with disabilities." It is highly likely that the "revised interpretation" this advocates will amount to gutting the exemption by regulation. Perhaps this reflects a political calculation that the legislative prospects are unfavorable.

See Eldercare Workforce Alliance Letter by copying the following link: http://wage-hour.net/file.axd?file=2011%2f7%2fEldercare+Workforce+Alliance+Letter.pdf

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