The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that it will start next month enforcing the new “Home-Care” Final Rule, which prohibits third-party employers from taking advantage of the overtime exemption for certain domestic service workers and redefines the term “companionship services” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

As our readers know, in August the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found in Home Care Association of America v. Weil that the Final Rule was valid.

The plaintiffs, associations that represent home-care staffing agencies, asked the Supreme Court to stay (suspend) the Final Rule pending their request for Supreme Court review of the D.C. Circuit decision.

This week, the Supreme Court denied the stay, meaning that the DOL is free to begin enforcing the Final Rule. The associations’ challenge to the Final Rule itself will continue.

The DOL announced on Wednesday that it will begin enforcing the Final Rule on November 12. The DOL will exercise its prosecutorial discretion with respect to any violations found between now and the end of the calendar year, taking into consideration (among other things) the employer’s good-faith attempts to comply with the Final Rule.

The Final Rule was originally issued by the DOL in October 2013 with an original effective date of January 1, 2015. It remains open to question whether individual plaintiffs can pursue alleged violations dating all the way back to January 1, 2015.

If you need assistance in complying with the caregiver rule, please contact any member of Constangy’s Wage-Hour Practice Group.

Here are links to Constangy’s previous coverage of the home caregiver rule:

Appeals Court Agrees with DOL: Home Health Care Workers Employed by Third Parties Have a Right to Minimum Wage, Overtime (August 25, 2015)

A Cautionary Note on That “Companionship Services” Rule (February 2015)

DOL’s Companionship Rule Gets the One-Two Punch (January 2015)

DOL Delays Enforcement of Companionship Exemption Rule, But Private Lawsuits Can Carry On (October 2014)

Proposed Rule Would Make Most Home Healthcare Workers Non-Exempt (March 2012)

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