In December 2014, Ellen Leibovitch held a seminar to discuss changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) relevant to third party agencies who employ companions and live-in domestic service employees. The new regulations – which were set to go into effect on January 1, 2015 – made the long-standing exemptions to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements for companions and live-in domestic employees inapplicable to third-party employers (like home health care agencies).
Just days after the seminar, a federal court struck down the new regulations. Since then, the issue has been batted around the courts, but on August 21, 2015, a federal appellate court issued a unanimous opinion affirming the validity of the new regulations. The appellate court’s opinion became effective on October 13, 2015. The Department of Labor (DOL) will not begin enforcement of the new rules until November 12, 2015 but, more than likely, the DOL will not begin prosecuting offenders until January 1, 2016.
For more details, go to http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/litigation.htm#.VilP87RgRps.email
So what does this mean to you and your businesses? For those who have been taking a wait-and-see approach or who had hoped that everything would remain unchanged, the time to act is now. Businesses need to come to grip with the fact that live-in domestic care workers who reside in the private household where they are employed and home-health companions are going to be subject to the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage requirements as well as the record-keeping requirements. Among other things, this means these workers need to be paid a minimum wage (currently $8.05 in the State of Florida but likely to increase as of January 1, 2016), that employers need to maintain accurate records of the hours such employees work each day and each week and that overtime must be paid for all hours worked in excess of 40 each week.
Please note that these new rules apply only to employees, not independent contractors.
For additional information about these changes, please contact Ellen M. Leibovitch below:
Florida Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney
ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.
1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 160
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
Main: (561) 361-6566
Fax: (561) 361-6466
Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law, Bankruptcy, Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, and Corporate Law
Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton