Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Section 64c02: Patients in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Programs
- An alcoholic or drug addict who has been admitted to a work center frequently requires a detoxification period before he or she is capable of performing work. This individual may be present in the work center during this period, primarily to be kept away from alcohol or drugs - the individual will not normally be performing significant productive work during the "drying out" period. Consequently, if an individual has been diagnosed as alcoholic or drug dependent, WH will not assert an employment relationship for the first four weeks (28 consecutive calendar days) of residence at the work center. An employment relationship will be asserted during the 28-day period, however, if the individual engages in activities that provide a consequential economic benefit to the work center (see FOH 10b34, 64c01(a)(1) and 64c01(a)(3).
- An employment relationship will not exist between residents and a residential care facility seeking to establish a "family setting" (per FOH 10b35) for treatment of individuals with drug or alcohol problems when:
- Residents perform tasks that are ordinarily done on a daily basis in a private home, and are solely for the mutual benefit of the occupants of the home (institution).
- Residents do not displace regular full-time employees by performing tasks that would ordinarily be done by full-time workers.
- Enrollment in the treatment program is of relatively short duration (usually not longer than one year), as opposed to the long-term occupancy often associated with institutions caring for the mentally ill, the mentally retarded, the aged, or the terminally ill.
- The institution is relatively small, houses a limited number of residents, and has no paid staff other than counselors.