Overtime Issue for Home Care Workers is Alive as Senators Press to Have US DOL Regulations Altered or Reinterpreted

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What Happened Two Years Ago...

In Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke, 549 U.S. 1105 (June 11, 2007), the Supreme Court deferred to the U.S. Department of Labor's interpretation of its own regulations and unanimously held that home care workers employed by third party employers or agencies were exempt from overtime under the "companionship exemption" to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Coupled with the overtime exemption available to non-profit agencies in New York (where Medicaid funded home care can be 24/7) who had timely filed a Statement of Non-Profitmaking Institutions with the NYS Department of Labor, this fully exempted those agencies, in particular, from overtime pay to home care workers.

What Happened Afterwards…

The focus of class or collective overtime actions in the home care industry changed from claims of non-exemption to claims based on an exception to the exemption – home care workers performing general household work for more than 20% of their weekly work hours are not eligible for the exemption.

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