Bill to Preserve Companionship Services Exemption Introduced in the U.S. Senate With Senator Rubio’s Support

HCAF continues its tireless efforts to preserve
the companionship services exemption

A bill that will preserve the companionship services exemption for minimum wage and overtime pay for third party employers was introduced on June 7 in the U.S. Senate  (S. 3280). The bill is sponsored by Nebraska Republican Senator Mike Johanns, who is joined by 13 Republican co-sponsors including Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

A similar bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 3066) was introduced last September and has only 24 cosponsors to date. If passed, both bills would exempt workers providing companion services, regardless of whether they are employed by individuals, families, or third-parties, from the minimum wage and overtime requirements.

Last winter, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issues a proposed rule that, if finalized, will strip this exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act and require third-party employers such as home health agencies and nurse registries to pay employees minimum wage and overtime. In March, HCAF submitted formal comments to the DOL warning of the unintended consequences for workers, agencies and patients/clients if the rule is finalized.

HCAF has been in discussions with Democratic Senator Bill Nelson‘s office to encourage him to sign on as a co-sponsor, but input from the Florida home care industry is critical in order to show our unity on this major issue! Labor department officials have said that they will take at least three more months to review the nearly 30,000 comments submitted on this issue, which buys the industry time to advocate for more cosponsors and action to be taken in Congress to preserve this exemption for home care workers.

Click here to send a letter to the Florida congressional delegation, including Senator Nelson, and stress your support for the Companionship Services Exemption Act!

Say Thank You to Senator Rubio!

Let Senator Rubio know his support for this bill is important and appreciated. Click here to send him a thank you note to let him know that the Florida home care industry has his back!

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