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DOL to Release Proposed Rule to Revise Companionship Regulations

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DOL to Release Proposed Rule to Revise Companionship Regulations

December 19, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division will publish this week a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would extend the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime provisions to workers who provide in-home supports for individuals with disabilities and the elderly.

DOL'sweb page, where the announcement is posted, says the NPRM "will revise the companionship and live-in worker regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to more clearly define the tasks that may be performed by an exempt companion, and to limit the companionship exemption to companions employed only by the family or household using the services. In addition, the Department proposes that third party employers, such as in-home care staffing agencies, could not claim the companionship exemption or the overtime exemption for live-in domestic workers, even if the employee is jointly employed by the third party and the family or household."

When Congress expanded FLSA to "domestic service" workers in 1974, its amendments created a limited exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for casual babysitters and companions for the elderly and infirm and created an exemption from the OT requirement for live-in domestic workers.

ANCOR will be offering guidance to DOL on this NPRM. A Frequently Asked Questions page about the proposal is available here.