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Minimum Wage Law Does Not Apply to Persons Providing Companionship Services for the Elderly
Description Supreme Court held that Congress intended to exclude persons providing companionship services for elderly person, whether employed directly by the person receiving care or employed by an agency that directs them to work for a particular elderly person.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Fair Labor Standards Act; Minimum Wage; Companionship Services
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Coke provides "companionship services" to elderly and infirm people. Her jobs are obtained through Long Island Care at Home. She contends the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act because it failed to pay her minimum wages or overtime wages. The appeals court held in her favor; her employer appealed.
Decision Reversed and remanded. The FSLA exempted from the minimum wage and overtime rules persons "employed in domestic service employment to provide companionship services for individuals unable to care for themselves." Under a Department of Labor regulation interpreting the statute, the FSLA included people such as Coke, who were employed by an agency to provide companionship services. It does not matter if Coke is employed directly by the elderly person or by an agency; the regulation applies and is a reasonable interpretation of the intent of Congress in the statute.
Citation Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke127 S.Ct. 2339 (Sup. Ct., 2007)

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