On December 22, 2014, in Home Care Association of America v. Weil, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated a key portion of a U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) regulation amending the minimum wage and overtime exemptions for “companionship” domestic service workers. (See our prior blog post for more information.)  The DOL appealed this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which reversed the district court on August 15, 2015.   On October 13th the D.C. Circuit’s mandate will instruct the district court to enter summary judgment in favor of the DOL, rendering the new home care rule effective.

In response to this approaching effective date, three industry trade groups making up a home care industry coalition sought a stay of the ruling with the D.C. Circuit.  The Court of Appeals denied the motion on September 18, 2015.  The challengers then went to the United States Supreme Court, asking for a stay pending the filing of a petition for certiorari.  Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied that application, which means the new regulation could go into effect as early as next week.

The controversial rule extends federal minimum wage and overtime protections to an estimated two million workers by eliminating the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime exemption for certain home care workers.  29 C.F.R. Part 552.  While the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) had previously stated that it would proceed with limited enforcement until December 31, 2015, home care companies could still face private enforcement efforts even during the enforcement “grace period.”  (See our prior blog post.)  As such, employers should immediately take steps to comply with the new regulation.

 

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Photo of Allan Bloom Allan Bloom

Allan S. Bloom is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advisor who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages…

Allan S. Bloom is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advisor who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels as well as in arbitration. He has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries, as well as injunctions to protect clients’ confidential information and assets.

As the leader of Proskauer’s Wage and Hour Practice Group, Allan has been a strategic partner to a number of Fortune 500 companies to help them avoid, minimize and manage exposure to wage and hour-related risk. Allan’s views on wage and hour issues have been featured in The New York TimesReutersBloomberg and Fortune, among other leading publications. His class-action defense work for clients has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages.

Allan is regularly called on to advise boards of directors and senior leadership on highly sensitive matters such as executive transitions, internal investigations and strategic workforce planning. He also has particular expertise in the financial services industry, where he has litigated and arbitrated cases, including at FINRA and its predecessors, for more than 20 years.
A prolific author and speaker, Allan was the Editor of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Journal from 2012 to 2017. He has served as an author, editor and contributor to a number of leading treatises in the field of employment law, including ADR in Employment Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA, Senior Editor), Employment Discrimination Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA, Final Proof Editor), Cutting Edge Advances in Resolving Workplace Disputes (Cornell University/CPR, Editor), The Employment Law Review (Law Business Research, U.S. Chapter Author), and The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual (SCCE, Chapter Author).

Allan is a member of the NYSBA’s House of Delegates, sits on the Executive Committee of the NYSBA’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Chambers since 2011.