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The Department of Labor Appeals Federal Court's Orders Vacating Both Major Provisions of the Home Care Rule

On Thursday, January 22, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) appealed the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia's two orders that vacated both major provisions of the DOL's Home Care Rule.  Originally intended to be effective on January 1, 2015, the new rule would have excluded third-party employers from relying on the companionship and live-in domestic worker exemptions and would have drastically narrowed the definition of companionship services under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  On December 22, 2014, and on January 14, 2015, the court vacated both...

Federal Court Vacates Second and Final Major Provision of the Department of Labor's Home Care Rule

On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the U.S. Department of Labor's new rule that purported to narrow the definition of "companionship services" exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Rejecting the DOL's arguments in support of the new rule, the court found that the statutory exemption of home care companions "clearly targets workers who provide services to those who need care. . . . Limiting that care to only 20 percent of a worker's total hours defies logic, and Congressional intent....

Federal Court Stays Effective Date of DOL's Home Care Rule

At the eleventh hour, a District of Columbia federal court today issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) preventing a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rule from taking effect on January 1, 2015 that would have drastically narrowed the "companionship services" exemption from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  This order followed the same court's previous ruling on December 22, in which the court struck down another part of the DOL rule that would have prevented third-party employers from availing themselves of the companionship and live-in exemptions at...

CMS Keeps the Carrot Small for Whistleblowers

Just eight months ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)'s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposal to raise the ceiling for whistleblower payouts to nearly $10 million from the current cap of $1,000.  This increased monetary incentive was just one of many provisions designed to decrease Medicare fraud. While the intention of the proposed rule was to intensify the fight to prevent Medicare fraud and abuse, many critics believed that it would open the floodgates to unsubstantiated fraud claims. It appears that CMS took commenters...

D.C. Federal Court Vacates Regulation Excluding Third-Party Employers from the FLSA Companionship and Domestic Services Exemption

In a significant blow to the efforts of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to exclude third-party employers from the companionship and domestic services exemption to the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage requirements, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today struck down the portions of the regulation applicable to third-party employers.  In Home Care Association of America v. Weil,* the court reviewed the DOL’s revised regulation as applied to third-party employers and held it “not only disregard[ed] Congress’s intent, but seize[d] unprecedented...

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Format: 2015-01-30
Format: 2015-01-30