Court Rejects Competing Motions in Overtime Lawsuit: Request for Stay to be Filed with U.S. Supreme Court
September 21, 2015 11:33 AM
On late Friday, September 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied NAHC’s pending Motion to Stay and the Department of Labor (DOL) Motion to Expedite the judgment that reinstates the overtime compensation rules affecting home care aide services. NAHC and its co-plaintiffs are now preparing to file a request to the U.S. Supreme Court to put the challenged rules on hold until the Court has the opportunity to consider whether it wants to hear the appeal on its merits. If the stay is not granted by the Supreme Court, it is expected that the “companionship services” and “live-in domestic services” rules that change the standards for exemption from overtime compensation will go into affect on October 13.
The Court of Appeals rejected the competing motions in a “per curiam” opinion, a summary decision by the three judges that heard the case in the original DOL appeal. No explanation is given in a per curiam judgment; it offers only the outcome of the ruling.
The next step in the litigation is a request for a stay directed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Such request is heard by Chief Justice Roberts as he is assigned reviews of emergency motions involving decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It is expected that the Chief Justice will provide a few days for DOL to submit a response. A stay would put the new rules on hold until the Supreme Court has the opportunity to review the Petition for Writ of Certiorari that NAHC and its co-plaintiffs are preparing to file. Otherwise, the rules will go into effect while the Supreme Court considers whether to hear the appeal.
A decision on the stay request is very likely before the October 13 projected date when the mandate of the Court of Appeals would take effect. With respect to the appeal petition, a ruling should be issued in 60 to 90 days following its filing date.
NAHC advises affected home care companies to prepare for both of the litigation outcome possibilities: that the rules are stayed or that the rules go into effect. While such business planning is not easy, the path of litigation is not fully predictable.
While the litigation continues, NAHC and its home care collaborative are developing a legislative proposal that has the interest of both houses of Congress. That legislative proposal is expected to be submitted by congressional sponsors in the very near term.