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Labor Lawsuits Are a Major Threat to the Home Care Industry

Posted on Friday, July 8, 2016 12:36 PM

The home health industry is facing the most scrutiny than ever before to comply with the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Supreme Court decided against a hearing that challenged minimum wage and overtime protections for home health care and domestic workers from a Department of Labor rule in 2013.

Therefore, a final rule was issued in May, 2016, placing more pressures on employers by increasing the salary requirements for overtime exemptions. As of December 1, 2016, salaried employees that earn less than $47,476 a year, or $913 per week, will be qualified for overtime wages.

“Home care is now the No. 1 target for FLSA and collective action lawsuits,” said Angelo Spinola, a lawyer with employment benefits specialty firm Littler, during a webinar presented by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

In federal court, nearly 200 lawsuits alleging violations of the FLSA have been filed in the last eight months, according to Spinola.

Home health companies need to be hands-on with this situation. “Prepare and assume it will happen to you,” Spinola warned. “If the DOL does come in, engage your council immediately. Do not wait.”

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