Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to Domestic Service
In 1974, Congress extended the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA or the Act) to ``domestic service'' employees, but it exempted from the Act's minimum wage and overtime provisions domestic service employees who provide ``companionship services'' to elderly people or people with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities who require assistance in caring for themselves, and it exempted from the Act's overtime provision domestic service employees who reside in the household in which they provide services. This Final Rule revises the Department's 1975 regulations implementing these amendments to the Act to better reflect Congressional intent given the changes to the home care industry and workforce since that time. Most significantly, the Department is revising the definition of ``companionship services'' to clarify and narrow the duties that fall within the term; in addition third party employers, such as home care agencies, will not be able to claim either of the exemptions. The major effect of this Final Rule is that more domestic service workers will be protected by the FLSA's minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping provisions.