Labor & Employment
Home-Care Workers Not Entitled to OT
Posted Jun 11, 2007 3:00 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that home health-care workers are not entitled to overtime pay under federal law.
The opinion today by Justice Stephen Breyer upheld a Labor Department regulation that exempted the workers from the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Los Angeles Times reports. The regulation does not exceed the department’s rulemaking authority, Breyer said.
"The court's ruling is another blow to struggling, low-wage women," says Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women's Law Center.
Lawyers for New York City had told the court a contrary decision would increase the bill for providing health care to poor city residents by $300 million a year.
Breyer wrote for a unanimous court in Long Island Care at Home Ltd. v. Coke, No. 06-593.
The plaintiff was Evelyn Coke, who provided home care services to elderly men and women for more than 20 years. The Bush administration opposed Coke's suit, according to Associated Press.
The decision was among several business-related cases decided today, according to the Washington Post.