In a letter dated November 11 (attached below), ADAPT, a national disability advocacy group, called on Senate and House leadership to take action to mitigate consequences of the Department of Labor Home Care rule. The rule makes changes to the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which include a narrowing of the companionship exemption and will necessitate changes for how overtime and travel time are calculated in many states. The letter notes that because the "vast majority of homecare is funded by Medicaid," states need additional time to make funding structures necessary to allow states, providers, and self-directed consumers to come into compliance with the rule.
ANCOR and other organizations have called for a delay in implementation of the rule to permit time for the necessary changes to be made. The ADAPT letter calls on Congress to take action to either fund the increased budgets that states will need to pay the anticipated increases in cost or delay the implementation date of the rule until states are able to adjust their budgets accordingly.
The DOL issued a notice delaying the enforcement, but not the implementation, of the rule for six months to one year. (See WICs article, "DOL Delays Enforcement, But Not Implementation, of Home Care Rule," October 10, 2014.) As ANCOR noted at the time and as reiterated in the ADAPT letter, this enforcement delay does not shield providers from private liability, and providers should consult legal counsel to ensure that they understand their legal obligations during the period of non-enforcement and beyond.