Analysis of State Efforts to Comply with the Expansion of Fair Labor Standards Act Protection to Home Care Workers Providing Services to Medicaid or Other Public Program Participants

Client: Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)

In 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a rule requiring that most home care workers be paid overtime and travel time. This rule substantially narrowed the so-called "companionship exemption" that had been in place since the 1970s. Individuals who self-direct their services are responsible to pay these costs out of their personal budgets; likewise for agencies that serves as "joint employers" (also called "the employer of record") with individuals. In some cases, state agencies are joint employers, making the state directly liable for any additional costs. The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary analysis of the steps states have taken to comply with the DOL rule, whether to set aside additional funds in their program budgets; to cap hours so that home care workers do not accrue overtime; or to pursue other strategies. The project included interviews with key informants at organizations with national footprints (e.g., the National Employment Law Project) and case studies of states that have taken different approaches to achieve compliance. Mission Analytics served as the contractor.

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