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Department of Labor Issued Fair Labor Standards Act Final Rule

On September 17, 2013, the United States Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division announced a final rule expanding the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime protections to direct care workers who provide essential home care assistance to elderly people and people with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities. The final rule is effective January 1, 2015. The rule extends coverage of the minimum wage and overtime requirements to home health aides, personal care aides, and certified nursing assistants. Many employees and employers in the home health care industry will have questions regarding the appropriate implementation of the rule's requirements. Issues involving whether payment is necessary for rest breaks, meal time, or travel time are some of the concerns that can be addressed with competent labor and employment counsel.

Additionally, these employers are required to comply with recording keeping requirements. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require the use of a particular form. However, it does require that the records include certain identifying information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. The information must be accurate. Employers must maintain: (1) employee's full name and social security number; (2) the employee's Address, including zip code; (3) birth date, if younger than 19; (4) gender and occupation; (5) time and day of week when employee's workweek begins; (6) hours worked each day; (7) total hours worked each workweek; (8) basis on which employee's wages are paid; (9) regular hourly pay rate; (10) total daily or weekly straight-time earnings; (11) total overtime earnings for the workweek; (12) all additions to or deductions from the employee's wages; (13) total wages paid each pay period; and (14) date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment. Additional requirements may be imposed by state law.

As with any new Final Rule, this is an excellent opportunity for companies to review their payroll policies and procedures with their employment attorney to ensure compliance with wage and hour laws.

By: Justin A. Morocco

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