On August 21, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a landmark 24-page slip opinion in Home Care Ass’n of Am. v. Weil, No. 15-5018. Reversing the trial court, the D.C. Circuit upheld the federal Department of Labor’s “extension of the FLSA’s minimum-wage and overtime provisions to employees of third-party agencies who provide companionship services and live-in care within a home”. Id. at *5.
Home Care in 2007 observed the United States Supreme Court confirmed that the Fair Labor Standards Act “vests the Department with discretion to apply (or not to apply) the companionship-services and live-in exemptions to employees of third-party agencies,” and that the Department’s discretionary extension of such FLSA protections “is grounded in a reasonable interpretation of the statute and is neither arbitrary nor capricious.” Id. Home Care noted that the Department’s reversal of its longstanding interpretation of the FLSA on the issue is in response to “the provision of residential care [having] undergone a marked transformation”. Id. at *4.
Years ago, Mr. Waterman unsuccessfully sought such FLSA minimum wage protections for such residential care employees in local federal court. Now the time finally has arrived inter alia to collect overtime pay for them.