Department of Labor to Implement New FLSA Regulations for Home Health Care Workers

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires most employers pay their employees minimum wages and further mandates overtime pay for all hours in excess of a regular 40 hour workweek.  However, the FLSA does contain several notable exemptions.   One of these exemptions, the “Companionship Exemption,” excludes certain home health care employees from minimum wage and overtime requirements.  Companion services generally includes services performed in a private home for the care, fellowship or protection of persons who cannot care for themselves because of their age or infirmity.  The upcoming 2015 regulatory change will eliminate the use of the exemption for persons employed by third party staffing agencies and will narrow the definition of companionship to exclude incidental services such as meal preparation and housekeeping where such services constitute more than 20 percent of an employee’s duties.  See DOL FAQs