Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Amend the Companionship and Live-In Worker Regulations

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, December 2011

…Although the regulations governing exemptions have been substantially unchanged since they were promulgated in 1975, the in-home care industry has undergone a dramatic transformation. There has been a growing demand for long-term in-home care, and as a result the in-home care services industry has grown substantially. However, the earnings of in-home care employees remain among the lowest in the service industry, impeding efforts to improve both jobs and care. Moreover, the workers that are employed by in-home care staffing agencies are not the workers that Congress envisioned when it enacted the companionship exemption (i.e., neighbors performing elder sitting), but instead are professional caregivers entitled to FLSA protections. In view of these changes, the Department believes it is appropriate to reconsider whether the scope of the regulations are now too broad and not in harmony with Congressional intent.

On December 15, 2011 the Department announced that it will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the companionship and live-in worker regulations for two important purposes:

– To more clearly define the tasks that may be performed by an exempt companion
– To limit the companionship exemption to companions employed only by the family or household using the services. Third party employers, such as in-home care staffing agencies, could not claim the exemption, even if the employee is jointly employed by the third party and the family or household.

Additional Information on the NPRM:
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Frequently Asked Questions
Remarks by the President on Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections for In-Home Care Workers
Press Release
Blog Post
Fact Sheet: Proposed Rule Changes Concerning In-Home Care Industry under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Comparison of Current vs. Proposed Companionship Regulations
Economic Impact Analysis
State Minimum Wage and Overtime Coverage of Non-Publicly Employed Companions

Additional Information on Companionship and Live-In Workers

Applicable FLSA Regulations

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