Department of Labor Delays Enforcement of its Companionship Rule
Rule would have required minimum wage and overtime compensation for home care workers
October 8, 2014 03:16 PM
The US Department of Labor announced that it is delaying enforcement of the rule change that would have triggered a minimum wage and overtime obligation starting January 1, 2015 for personal care home care workers’ employers. The delay also affects the rule change on live-in domestic services.
DoL has maintained the effective date of the rule as January 1, 2015. However, it is delaying any enforcement of the rule for 6 months, January 1 to June 30, 2015. After that period, DoL indicates that it will use its discretion in enforcement, taking into consideration whether affected parties, particularly state programs such as Medicaid, are undertaking good faith efforts to bring about eventual compliance.
Numerous parties had requested a delay. The DoL Notice references the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), the National Association of Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities(NASUAD), organizations representing disability advocates, and the states of Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, and Pennsylvania as supporting a delay. It appears that the driving influence on the DoL action was the impact on Medicaid and recipients of home care services funded by Medicaid.
The DoL action does not affect states where the overtime exemptions had already been eliminated or modified under a state law.
At this point, NAHC is evaluating the impact of the action on its lawsuit that challenges the rule changes. Since the rule still goes into affect in January, albeit without enforcement, the issue is still ripe for review by the federal court.
The announcement by the DoL was published earlier this week in the Federal Register, making the delay in enforcement official. To read the announcement in the Federal Register, please click here.