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DC Judge Leon Also Vacates New Definition of “Companionship Services”

On the heels of his ruling vacating the DOL’s new rule (which was scheduled to be effective January 1st) rendering the FLSA’s companionship exemption unavailable to “third party” employers of companions, Judge Richard Leon has now issued a companion decision vacating the new, substantially narrowed definition of “companionship services” contained in the same DOL rulemaking.  Home Care Ass’n of Am. v. Weil, D.D.C., No. 14-CV-967, DKT 32 (1/14/15).  Judge Leon’s new decision again expressed hostility towards the USDOL’s use of regulatory rulemaking to unmake the exemption, pointing out that the revised companionship exemption would be so narrow as to be meaningless because it would “write out of the exemption the very ‘care’ the elderly and disabled need, unless it were drastically limited . . . so as to be of little practical use.”   While the Judge called the DOL’s “concern about the wages of home care providers . . . understandable,” he held “Congress [to be] . . . the appropriate forum in which to debate and weigh the competing financial interests in this very complex issue affecting so many families.”

DOL appeal seems likely, if not inevitable, leaving an entire industry in legal limbo.  Industry employers should consult with counsel to develop their short and long-term compliance strategy, taking into account the many different possible outcomes.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2022National Law Review, Volume V, Number 16
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About this Author

Noel Tripp Principal Employment lawyer at Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Noel P. Tripp is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Since joining Jackson Lewis as a summer associate in May 2005, he has practiced exclusively in employment law.

Mr. Tripp has been involved in matters pending before federal and state courts and administrative agencies covering the gamut of employment-related matters from discrimination and workplace harassment to wage/hour disputes and affirmative-action compliance. His principal focus is the defense of class and collective action...

631-247-0404
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