Coverage & Access SCOTUS To Hear Case on Home Care Workers' Wages, Overtime
[Mar 27, 2007]
The Supreme Court on April 16 plans to hear oral arguments in a case that could determine whether federal minimum wage and overtime laws apply to home care workers. In the case, Evelyn Coke, a 73-year-old immigrant from Jamaica, filed a lawsuit against New York-based Long Island Care at Home to challenge regulations that exempt home care workers from the laws.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case after the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the regulations, which the court said conflicted with the congressional intent. Congress in 1974 amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to extend federal minimum wage and overtime laws to household workers but exempted baby sitters and "companions" for the elderly and those with illnesses. In 1975, DOL proposed regulations to implement the revisions to the law that exempted home care workers. In a brief, Long Island Care argued that the regulations were consistent with congressional intent because some lawmakers had raised concerns about the need to reduce costs.