Supreme Court to Decide Future of Home Care Wage Case

It’s official. Provider associations have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide once and for all whether the Department of Labor can extend wage and overtime protections to home care workers.

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed lower court decisions, and said the DOL can indeed mandate that home care workers receive the same overtime and minimum wage protections as other workers. Previously, home care workers had been subject to a “companionship exemption.”

The rule took effect in October and enforcement began earlier this month, but there has been one last legal recourse remaining: taking the case to the Supreme Court.

Almost immediately after the August ruling out of the D.C. appeals court, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and the Home Care Association of America (HCAA) said they would seek Supreme Court review. First, they asked the high court to stay the rule, but that was unsuccessful. On Nov. 18, they officially filed a petition for writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court now has the discretion to accept or reject the petition.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to inquiries from Home Health Care News about when a decision is expected. William Dombi, NAHC’s vice president for law, previously has commented that the odds of being granted a Supreme Court review are long for any given case.

Written by Tim Mullaney