October 12, 2015
A federal rule change that will finally extend minimum-wage and overtime protections to home care workers officially takes effect on October 13.
Originally promulgated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in 2013, the rule change was scheduled to begin on January 1, 2015.
A series of legal challenges from the for-profit home care industry, which culminated in a federal judge vacating the rule entirely on January 14, pushed implementation back. But on October 6, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts denied the industry's motion to stay a lower court's decision to uphold the rule, opening the door for the rule change to finally take effect.
Although it will be officially implemented on October 13, the DOL will not enforce the rule change until November 12.
At that point, the DOL will begin to "exercise prosecutorial discretion in determining whether to bring enforcement actions." Full enforcement does not begin until January 1, 2016.
Implementation Guides Available
PHI has prepared several resources designed to ease the implementation process for policymakers, employers, and workers themselves.
A PHI fact sheet (pdf), updated in October 2015, provides answers to frequently asked questions about the home care rule change.
Additionally, PHI joined several other organizations in preparing an issue brief (pdf) that will help workers, consumers, employers, and states understand what the rule change means to them.
Finally, a brand-new PHI issue brief (pdf) outlines five steps that New York policymakers can take to ensure the smooth implementation of the new home care wage rule.
These resources, plus many more, are available at the PHI Campaign for Fair Pay website.
-- by Matthew Ozga