Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dillow v. Home Care Network, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

February 27, 2017

RHONDA DILLOW, Plaintiff,
v.
HOME CARE NETWORK, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. 15)

          TIMOTHY S. BLACK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This 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.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff 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).

         The 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).

         The 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 this case.

         First, 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.

         In 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).

         On 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).

         The 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 Weil ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.