Following a decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals validating a Department of Labor (DOL) rule extending minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers, the agency said it would begin enforcing the ruling 30 days after it becomes official, on Nov. 12, 2015. (The court ruling itself becomes effective on Oct. 13.)

The rule applies only to home care workers employed by third-party agencies.

The Home Care Association of America first appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court and was rebuffed. It has now appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to get a reversal of the rule based on its view that the DOL lacks the statutory authority to unilaterally change the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its ¬†“companionship exemption” for home care workers.

In its ruling, the circuit court cited a 2007 Supreme Court decision, which held that the “text of the FLSA does not expressly answer the third-party employment question” and also held that the DOL enjoyed¬†discretion regarding the scope of the exemption when it comes to third-party employers.


If you own or operate a small to medium-sized business, managing all your employees plus meeting federal labor laws and regulations can be daunting, especially with new rules being issued all the time. To help you understand your rights and responsibilities in every facet of running a business, please order a copy of Personnel Concepts’ All-On-One HR Compliance Program for Small Businesses.