DOL Proposes FLSA Wage Regulation Updates for Home Care Workers

July 29, 2010

In recent news that our California Wage and Hour Attorneys have been following, the Department of Labor (DOL) claimed that it will be another fifteen months before they propose changes to the pay rules and regulations for home care workers, workers who provide companionship services and who are not covered currently by the federal minimum wage and overtime pay protections.

As we reported in a recent blog, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets employment standards for minimum wage and overtime compensation, requiring employers to compensate covered employees who are non-exempt from the federal minimum wage and overtime pay, which is one and one-half-times times the minimum wage for each hour worked. The Act is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, and the FLSA exemptions are narrowly interpreted by the Labor Commissioner, to avoid wage and hour violations.

In April, the DOL reportedly announced its plan to revise the FLSA's recordkeeping regulations to require employers to provide clarity and transparency in an effort to promote greater compliance by employers, and to increase employment awareness among workers, so that they have a clear understanding of their status as employees or independent contractors, and their entitlement to minimum wage and overtime pay.

The DOL has also proposed updating the language for live-in domestic employees and employees who are considered to be industrial home care workers under FLSA, to modernize recordkeeping requirements for these employees, and consider other methods to replace the current mandatory and required records for employees who work under such live-in arrangements, while still keeping a clear record of all hours worked.

Current recordkeeping reportedly requires covered employees to keep certain records for payroll regarding the FLSA, but do not mandate that employers keep information about a worker's employment or exempt status, or disclose this to the worker in an effort to make the worker's legal rights and responsibility understood--a critical step in the employment, according to the DOL.

The DOL is scheduled to issue the domestic service workers update in October of 2011. California Representative Linda Sánchez (D-CA) reportedly wants to make the change in the legislature. Sánchez introduced legislation this week to eliminate FLSA exclusion of home care workers, as she believes the change should be set into law.

In cities in Orange County and throughout Southern California, our Anaheim-based Labor & Employment Attorneys know how to find the best solution to your California wage and hour issue. Contact Howard Law, PC today.

US Department of Labor: Spring Regulatory Agenda 2010, US Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division

Labor Department to Propose Regs on Wage Protections for Home Care Workers --in October 2011, The Hill, July 29, 2010

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)