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We Count on Home Care

We Count on Home Care

Questions & Answers on Time-Limited Non-Enforcement Policy

  1. When does the Home Care Final Rule take effect?
  2. What is a non-enforcement policy? What does it do exactly?
  3. What is covered by this non-enforcement policy?
  4. What kind of technical assistance will DOL be providing during the non-enforcement period?
  5. Are there home care situations to which the non-enforcement policy does not apply?
  6. How long does the non-enforcement policy last?
  7. How will DOL respond to complaints during the non-enforcement period?
  8. How does the 30-day non-enforcement policy affect the timeline of the Department's non-enforcement policy announced in October 2014?



  1. Q. When does the Home Care Final Rule take effect?
    A. The effective date for the Home Care Final Rule remains January 1, 2015. The Department of Labor is, however, implementing a non-enforcement policy for a limited period of time after the rule takes effect. For the first six months after the effective date, until June 30, 2015, the Department will not bring enforcement actions against any employer as to violations of FLSA obligations resulting from the Final Rule. Instead, during this time, the Department will use its resources to continue to provide intensive technical assistance to the regulated community, in particular State agencies administering home care programs, regarding the Rule and the application of the FLSA to home care arrangements. From July 1, 2015 until December 31, 2015, the Department will exercise its enforcement discretion, making determinations on a case-by-case basis as to whether to bring enforcement actions against any employer, with particular consideration of an employer’s efforts to make any adjustments necessary to implement the Final Rule, and in particular a State’s efforts to bring its publicly funded home care programs into FLSA compliance.

  2. Q. What is a non-enforcement policy? What does it do exactly?
    A. Non-enforcement means that from January 1 to June 30, 2015, the Department will not exercise its authority to bring enforcement actions regarding alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act that are the result of obligations first put in place by the Home Care Final Rule, 78 FR 60454, October 1, 2013. Specifically, the Department will not investigate, supervise settlements, or file lawsuits regarding such potential violations. The non-enforcement policy will allow the Department to devote its time and resources on providing assistance to employers, and in particular states that run publicly funded home care programs, so they can make thoughtful decisions about how to implement the Rule.

  3. Q. What is covered by this non-enforcement policy?
    A. This policy extends to all minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements that newly result from the Final Rule. Under the policy, from January 1 to June 30, 2015, the Department will not bring enforcement actions against any employer of a home care worker that was not obligated by the FLSA to pay minimum wage and/or overtime to that worker before the Final Rule went into effect. This includes any public employer, such as a state or county, and any private employer, such as a for-profit or non-profit home care agency. From July 1 to December 31, 2015, the Department will use its prosecutorial discretion to make determinations on a case-by-case basis as to whether to bring an enforcement action, with particular consideration of an employer's efforts to make any adjustments necessary to implement the Final Rule, and in particular a State's efforts to bring its publicly funded home care programs into FLSA compliance.

  4. Q. What kind of technical assistance will DOL be providing during the non-enforcement period?
    A. DOL has already directly reached thousands of people through over 100 webinars, conference calls, meetings, and presentations, engaging representatives from all 50 State governments, associations of State Medicaid and other relevant agencies, consumers, disability and senior citizens' advocates, veterans' organizations, worker representatives, and industry groups, among others. During the period covered by the non-enforcement policy, DOL will continue to provide comprehensive technical assistance to stakeholders, by continuing to offer webinars, public presentations, and individualized, targeted technical assistance to interested parties. The Department will also continue to update and expand its resource-rich home care website, which includes Administrator's Interpretations, Fact Sheets, FAQs, and other compliance materials.

  5. Q. Are there home care situations to which the non-enforcement policy does not apply?
    A. The non-enforcement policy applies only to violations that occur as a result of the new Home Care Final Rule. Thus, any violations of obligations that already existed under the current rule will still be subject to enforcement efforts. For example, if a licensed professional nurse providing services in a private home was not paid the minimum wage, the non-enforcement policy would not apply, because the current regulations require compliance with the FLSA as to RNs and LPNs. Similarly, if an FLSA violation occurred in a nursing home, group home, or other institution that is not a private home, the non-enforcement policy would not apply because the Final Rule only relates to domestic service employment (meaning household work, such as home care, done in or about a private home).

  6. Q. How long does the non-enforcement policy last?
    A. For the first six months, from January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015, the Department will not bring enforcement actions against any employer as to violations of FLSA obligations resulting from the Final Rule. The Department will continue to provide intensive technical assistance to the regulated community, in particular State agencies administering home care programs, regarding the Rule and the application of the FLSA to home care arrangements during this time. From July 1, 2015 until December 31, 2015, the Department will exercise its prosecutorial discretion, making determinations on a case-by-case basis as to whether to bring enforcement actions against any employer, with particular consideration of an employer's efforts to make any adjustments necessary to implement the Final Rule, and in particular a State's efforts to bring its publicly funded home care programs into FLSA compliance.

  7. Q. How will DOL respond to complaints during the non-enforcement period?
    A. DOL will not be enforcing during the initial six-month period. DOL will use any complaints received as an opportunity to provide individualized compliance assistance to stakeholders. During this time, DOL will also inform complainants of its non-enforcement policy. For the following 6 months, DOL will respond to complaints but will exercise prosecutorial discretion in determining which enforcement actions to bring, with particular consideration of an employer's efforts to make any adjustments necessary to implement the Final Rule, and in particular a State's efforts to bring its publicly funded home care programs into FLSA compliance.
  8. Q. How does the 30-day non-enforcement policy affect the timeline of the Department's non-enforcement policy announced in October 2014?
    A. The 30-day non-enforcement policy that will follow the issuance of the mandate by the Court of Appeals does not replace or affect the timeline of the Department's time-limited non-enforcement policy announced in October 2014. Under the previously announced policy, through December 31, 2015, the Department will exercise prosecutorial discretion in determining whether to bring enforcement actions, with particular consideration given to the extent to which States and other entities have made good faith efforts to bring their home care programs into compliance with the FLSA since the promulgation of the Final Rule. The Department will also continue to provide intensive technical assistance to the regulated community, as it has since promulgation of the Final Rule.