SCOTUS Decision – Over 2 Million Home Health Care Workers Entitled to Overtime Wages. Contact an FLSA Overtime Wages Attorney.
As of today, June 27, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”), denied hearing the Home Health Care Association of America’s request to determine the validity of the Department of Labor’s Home Care Final Rule.
If you are a home health care employee working as a home health aide, caregiver, or in any other position to provide companionship or other services, then you should contact an Ohio overtime attorney at Bryant Legal, LLC immediately to be advised of your rights to unpaid overtime. We are currently involved with representing individuals in the home health care industry who are entitled to overtime wages and can advocate on your behalf.
What Does this Ruling Mean for me?
Described as a “Win for Home Care Workers,” your once “exempt” position (which means not entitled to overtime pay) is now a “non-exempt” position such that you are entitled to overtime wages for all hours worked over 40 in any given workweek. In other words, you must be paid time and a half (overtime) for every hour you work in excess of 40 for each workweek. If you are not paid overtime wages, then your employer is violating the law and you are entitled to your unpaid overtime pay with an equal amount of liquidated damages and attorney’s fees.
Background of the Home Care Litigation
For years, home health care companies took advantage of millions of workers who provide compassionate and competent care to our loved ones who wish to remain in their homes and communities. For years, they regularly worked between 60 and 120 hours per week without a dime of overtime wages.
To provide some context to this ruling, on October 1, 2013 the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued the Home Care Final Rule, which overturned an outdated “companionship services” exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Workers unfairly subject to the “companionship services” exemption meant those services which provide fellowship, care, and protection (e.g. household work, meal preparation, bed making, washing of clothes, etc.) for a person who, because of advanced age or physical or mental infirmity, cannot care for his or her own needs. See 29 C.F.R. § 552.109(a) and 29 C.F.R. § 552.6(b). The Home Care Final Rule extended minimum wage and overtime protections to almost 2 million home care workers.
Because home health care companies had to finally pay its workers time and a half (overtime wages) for all hours over 40 per week, the Home Health Care Association of America continued to fight against the DOL’s Rule. The rule was challenged in federal court, but on August 21, 2015, a federal Court of Appeals issued a unanimous opinion affirming the validity of the Final Rule. This opinion upholding the Home Care Final Rule became effective on October 13, 2015, when the Court of Appeals issued its mandate. On November 18, 2015, the Home Health Care Association of America continued to fight against allowing millions of deserving home health care workers overtime wages. It filed a petition for certiorari to seek the validity of the Home Care Final Rule.
On June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order denying a request to review the Court of Appeals decision, meaning the opinion stands. As a result, millions of home health care workers were entitled to overtime wages on October 13, 2015 – the date the appellate court issued its mandate.
Contact an FLSA Overtime Attorney at Bryant Legal, LLC today to discuss seeking overtime wages at no cost to you. You may do so using the contact form or call either office to discuss your rights.