June 27, 2016
The U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 turned down a petition from the home care industry to review a lower court's decision in the case Home Care Association of America v. Weil, ending a long and successful battle to secure fair pay for home care workers.
The case centered on a federal rule change, originally promulgated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in 2013, that extends to home care workers the basic wage protections of minimum wage and overtime pay.
The Court's announcement today means that it will not review the DOL's constitutional authority to re-interpret the "companionship exemption" under the Fair Labor Standards Act. It ensures that the large and quickly growing home care workforce will have the same wage protections that most other U.S. workers enjoy.
On June 27, PHI participated in a telephone press conference on the Supreme Court's decision not to review the home care wage rule.
"PHI applauds the Court's decision, which finally puts to rest all challenges to the DOL's rule-making authority," PHI President Jodi M. Sturgeon said in a statement.
"Following today's decision, we hope that state legislatures will move swiftly to ensure home care providers have the necessary funds to comply with the rule and avoid any disruption of services to consumers," Sturgeon added.
In its HCAA v. Weil decision last August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the DOL rule change. The change officially took effect in October and has been fully enforced by the DOL since January.
Representatives from the home care industry, which opposes the rule change, petitioned the Supreme Court to review the D.C. Court's decision last November.
-- by Matthew Ozga