For Immediate Release
D.C. District Court Decision is Disappointing, But Changes to FLSA Still Set to Go Into Effect Jan 1st For Most Home Care Workers
D.C. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon's December 22 opinion and order in Home Care Association of America v. Weil is disappointing for "live-in" home care workers--workers who reside in the private household where they are employed.
But the court left the heart of the DOL's rule--the narrowing of the "companionship services" definition--in place. It remains true--notwithstanding yesterday's ruling--that as of Jan. 1, the majority of home care workers who do not live with their consumers will be covered by FLSA protections including the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime for any hours worked over 40.
"Live-in" home care workers are also entitled to at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked, but, under yesterday's ruling, they will not be entitled as a matter of federal law to overtime pay for hours worked over 40, even if they are jointly or co-employed by a state or agency.
"It's time to value all home care work and all home care workers," said Flora Johnson, a home care worker from Chicago. "The best way to ensure that our parents and grandparents get the quality home care they need is to improve home care jobs through better wages, including overtime."
We expect the DOL to appeal the district court's decision, and are hopeful that "live-in" home care workers will eventually gain the benefit of our nation's overtime laws.
With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.