Supreme Court Declines Review of Overtime Lawsuit
June 27, 2016 11:00 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s (NAHC) challenge to new rules issued by the Department of Labor (DoL) that provide home care aides and personal care attendants with rights to overtime pay. Specifically, the Court rejected the Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed by NAHC and other home care advocacy organizations thereby ending the legal fight to invalidate the new rules.
Last fall, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed an earlier ruling of the federal District Court that had invalidated the rules. The challenged rules affect the "companionship services" and "live-in domestic services" exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements. The new rules reversed a longstanding DoL policy.
"Our efforts to ensure that the elderly and persons with disabilities have full access to home care will continue," stated Val J. Halamandaris, president of NAHC. There is legislation pending in Congress that would reinstate the exemptions that had been in effect since 1975. Also, NAHC has taken steps to secure Medicaid rate support for the higher costs of overtime along with a tax credit to private pay clients.
Following the institution of the new rules on October 13, 2015, home care companies have adjusted operations through increased use of part time workers, restrictions on work hours to avoid overtime costs, and increased staff recruitment. However, these are costly changes that do not provide the optimum options for care delivery and management. Further, workers have loss income that is not offset by their rights to overtime as employees have limited work hours. Consumers now have to manage with multiple caregivers when, in the past, a single caregiver met their needs.
NAHC is also monitoring the actions of state Medicaid programs and their managed care contractors to determine if Medicaid beneficiaries and providers are disadvantaged through their actions or inactions relative to overtime costs.