The Labor Department has extended the comment period for its proposed rule to provide minimum wage and overtime protections for in-home companions by nine days, the agency announced in a March 9 release.
The division published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on Dec. 27, 2011, with a comment period originally set to end on Feb. 27, 2012. The division then extended the comment period to March 12. The department now will extend the comment period through March 21. Comments received between Dec. 27 and March 21 will be included in the rulemaking record. These actions will provide additional time for members of the public to analyze the issues raised in the proposal and to provide comments.
The proposed rule would expand minimum wage and overtime protections by ensuring that all home care workers employed by third parties, such as staffing agencies, receive these protections. It also would clarify that individuals performing skilled in-home care work are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. However, individuals engaged by families for true companionship or fellowship activities, such as visiting with friends or pursuing hobbies, still would be considered “companions” and not be required to meet the act’s labor standards provisions. To learn more about the proposed rule, visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/companionNPRM.htm.