Week In Review

October 12, 2015

DOL’s home care rule to be enforced beginning November 12
Since 1974, federal law has exempted home care workers hired through third-party staffing agencies from minimum wage and overtime requirements. In 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced new regulations that would remove that exemption. Earlier this year, a federal district judge invalidated the regulations after finding that the DOL had overstepped its authority. In August, however, a panel of federal appellate judges had reinstated those regulations. The three-judge panel concluded that the Fair Labor Standards Act gave the DOL authority to determine which in-home care services are exempt from minimum wage and overtime protections. Clearing the way for the DOL’s final home care rule to go into effect, last week Chief Justice John Roberts denied an application to stay the D.C. Circuit’s decision upholding the regulation. As a result, the ruling will be effective October 13 and the DOL will begin enforcing the rule on November 12, 2015.

Congress passes measure revising definition of small businesses under the ACA
Congress has passed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (PACE). PACE amends the definition of small businesses and protects them from possible increases in health care premiums under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the ACA, the definition of the state-based small group markets was scheduled to change in 2016 from 50 to include employers with up to 100 employees. This change would have required many small and midsized businesses to be subject to different rating rules and requirements, with the potential of increasing the health insurance premiums for small businesses and their employees. The PACE Act keeps the 50-definition in place, but states have the option of expanding the definition of small employer to cover employers with up to 100 employees.

Missouri law prohibits local living wage ordinances
Missouri has adopted a rule that prohibits political subdivisions from establishing, mandating, or otherwise requiring an employer to provide a minimum or living wage rate or other benefits to an employee that exceed the requirements of federal or state laws, rules, or regulations. The provision does not preempt any state law or local minimum wage ordinance requirements in effect as of August 28, 2015.

SESCO recommends that clients review all applicable policy and practices to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact us at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com