United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. 15)
TIMOTHY S. BLACK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the Court regarding Defendant's motion for
partial summary judgment filed December 16, 2016 (Doc. 15)
and the parties' responsive memoranda (Docs. 16, 20). For
the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion for
partial summary judgment (Doc. 15) is DENIED.
Rhonda Dillow has brought this civil action against Defendant
Home Care Network, Inc., seeking remuneration for unpaid
overtime on behalf of the following proposed class:
All domestic-service employees who (1) worked for Defendants
at any time during the Relevant Time Period and (2) worked
more than 40 hours in one or more workweeks during the
Relevant Time Period.
(Doc. 20, at 1).
impetus for this action was a recent change in the overtime
pay requirements imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act of
1938 (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. The FLSA
generally requires employers to pay their employees 150% of
their regular pay rate for all hours worked in excess of 40
hours per week. There are enumerated exceptions to this rule,
however, and, in 1974, the FLSA was amended to state that
“any employee employed in domestic service employment
to provide companionship services for individuals who
(because of age or infirmity) are unable to care for
themselves is exempt from the FLSA's overtime
requirement.” 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(15).
following year, the DOL issued regulations implementing the
1975 FLSA amendments, including the companionship exemption.
Two of the 1975 regulations, in particular, are relevant to
the “Third Party Employment” regulation explained
that the statutory companionship exemption applied to
caregivers “who are employed by an employer or agency
other than the family or household using their
services.” 29 C.P.R. § 552.109. Second, the
“Companionship Services” regulation defined the
companionship services referenced by the statutory
companionship exemption to mean “those services which
provide fellowship, care, and protection” for elderly
or infirm persons unable to care for themselves, excluding
services performed by “trained personnel”
including nurses. 29 C.P.R. § 552.6. The Companionship
Services regulation also allowed employees who were exempt
under the companionship exemption to perform “household
work related to the care of the aged or infirm person such as
meal preparation, bed making, washing of clothes, and other
similar services.” Id.
October 2013, the DOL created a Final Rule amending the
regulations as they relate to “companionship
services” with an effective date of January 1, 2015.
See Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to
Domestic Service, 78 Fed. Reg. 60454, 60455 (Oct. 1, 2013).
These new regulations held that domestic-service workers such
as the named Plaintiff in this case who were employed by
third-party agencies were no longer exempt from the mandatory
overtime rules. Several third-party employers of domestic
workers brought suit against the DOL in the United States
District Court for the District of Columbia; that court
concluded that the DOL exceeded its rule-making authority in
eliminating the FLSA exemption for home health workers and
vacated the rule. See Home Care Assoc. of Am. v.
Weil, 78 F.Supp.3d 123 (D.D.C. 2015).
August 21, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia reversed the district court's vacatur. See
Home Care Assoc. of Am. v. Weil, 799 F.3d 1084, 1097
(D.C. Cir. 2015). Following that decision, the DOL issued
guidance stating that it would not institute enforcement
proceedings for violations of the amended Final Rule until 30
days after the Court of Appeals issued a mandate making its
opinion effective, which the appellate court subsequently did
on October 13, 2015. See 80 Fed. Reg. 55029 (Sept.
14, 2015). The DOL then indicated that it would not bring
enforcement actions for violations of the rule prior to
November 12, 2015. See Application of the Fair Labor
Standards Act to Domestic Service: Dates of Previously
Announced 30-Day Period of Non- Enforcement, 80 Fed. Reg.
65646 (Oct. 27, 2015).
validity and enforceability of the DOL's new regulations
regarding overtime for companionship services moving forward
is not in dispute. The issue before this Court is when
exactly those regulations became enforceable, otherwise known
as the regulations' “effective date.”
Plaintiff contends that the regulations' listed effective
date of January 1, 2015, is when they became enforceable,
meaning that employers of affected individuals could be
liable for all unpaid overtime worked since that date.
Defendant contends that, because the regulations were
invalidated by the D.C. District Court's ruling in