Challenges Overtime Rule for Companionship Services.
On Monday, December 22, NAHC released a statement from Val Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) regarding the victorious win in the lawsuit challenging the new overtime rules of the US Department of Labor. The statement is as follows:
NAHC and Home Care Community Win Smashing Victory Negating Overtime Rule in Federal Court
NAHC and all of the members of the home care community celebrated today when they learned that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia struck down onerous new overtime rules promulgated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
“What this means is that the rule, which would have taken affect January 1, 2015, will be set aside and that older Americans will once again enjoy access to personal care assistance in their own homes,” said Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “This is a victory for elderly and disabled persons who rely on home care,” said Halamandaris.
The lawsuit challenged a rule that would prohibit the application of two overtime compensation exemptions: companionship services and live-in domestic services. It would have applied whenever caregivers were employed by anyone except the direct consumer of their services—90 percent of care would have been affected by the new overtime rule. This change would have created higher care costs that would have been borne by consumers and financially strapped government funding programs, such as Medicaid.
“This victory proves the value of industry unity,” said President Halamandaris. He commended the International Franchise Association and the Home Care Association of America who worked together with NAHC to file this suit against the U.S. Department of Labor. He also offered special praise for NAHC Vice President for Law, William A. Dombi, who managed and coordinated the litigation effort. “United, fighting on behalf of the elderly and disabled we cannot fail, divided, we cannot succeed,” said Halamandaris.
Halamandaris said that he and other members of the coalition are looking forward to the next phase of the lawsuit which will be designed to fully restore the companionship exemption which has survived in federal law for almost 50 years. A related goal is to make it possible for agencies to once again provide live-in care for those seniors who need it.