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Home Health Leaders Remain Watchful on Overtime Outcome

Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2016 9:51 PM

Home health industry leaders are feeling a sense of relief after a U.S. District Court judge is putting a pause on the overtime rule that was supposed to go into effect December 1.

The overtime rule from the Department of Labor (DOL) was planned to increase the minimum salary from $23,660 annually ($455 per week) to $47,476 ($913 per week).

Several industry groups were extremely vocal about the possibility of the minimum wage being increased, including the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

“What impact will the injunction have on home care and hospice?” NAHC asked in a statement on the outcome of the judgment. “Previously, NAHC indicated that the new rule could significantly affect private pay companies where salaries of EAP staff often fell below the $47,892 minimum. Also, hospices and home health agencies that pay professional clinical staff on a per visit basis would need to assure that those staff working over 40 hours per week were paid at least $921 weekly in that compensation method.”

Currently, the hold on the overtime rule is only a delay. However, an appeals process and full hearing are likely to come.

“At some point, the Court will fully hear the case on its merits and issue a final decision,” NAHC noted. “It is more likely than not that the court’s final decision will look a lot like this preliminary ruling. However, there are no guarantees of that. There is also the possibility of an appeal to the Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit.”
Although the rule has been a goal of the Obama administration, the incoming Trump administration “is likely to take a fresh look at the matter.”

According to NAHC, the injunction is encouraging for a possibility that the rule could be scrapped entirely.

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