• Department of Labor Revises Regulations to Provide Wage and Hour Coverage to More Domestic Service Workers
  • October 3, 2013
  • Law Firm: Alston Bird LLP - Atlanta Office
  • On September 17, 2013, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced final regulations (published in the Federal Register on October 1, 2013) that will extend overtime and minimum wage protections to a larger number of domestic service workers who care for and assist the elderly, ill, injured or disabled by revising current regulations that exempt many of these workers from the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) wage and hour protections. Currently, domestic service employees who provide so-called “companionship services” to their clients are exempt from FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions, and domestic service workers who reside in the households in which they provide services are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements. The current regulations also permit third-party employers of domestic service workers, such as home care agencies, to claim both the companionship services and the live-in domestic service exemptions. The new rule, which takes effect on January 1, 2015, narrows the definition of companionship services to provide more home care workers with FLSA protections; limits the exemption for live-in domestic service workers to the individual, family or household using the services; and prohibits third-party employers from claiming either of the two exemptions.