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Home Care Industry Asks SCOTUS to Stay Fair-Pay Decision

September 25, 2015

Trade associations representing the for-profit home care industry requested on September 24 that U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts stay a federal appeals court’s decision to extend minimum-wage and overtime protection to home care workers.

If implemented, the federal court’s decision risks “defying the will of Congress and disrupting a vital industry benefiting millions of elderly and disabled consumers,” the industry’s emergency application (pdf) says.

In August, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled unanimously that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had acted within its authority when it extended basic labor protections to home care workers in 2013.

The home care industry — represented by the trade organizations Home Care Association of America, the International Franchise Association, and the National Association for Home Care and Hospice — fought the ruling. On September 1, the groups filed a motion to the D.C. Circuit to stay the implementation of its decision while it submitted a petition to the Supreme Court.

But the D.C. Circuit denied that motion (pdf) on September 18 (along with a separate motion on behalf of DOL to issue the mandate without “further delay” to expedite the implementation of the fair-pay decision).

In their emergency application to Chief Justice Roberts, attorneys representing the home care industry write that a stay of the D.C. Circuit’s decision would be justified because of a “fair prospect of reversal” by the Supreme Court.

In a September 24 post to the SCOTUS Blog, Lyle Denniston writes that Roberts now has the option of acting on the motion by himself or bringing it to the full Supreme Court for consideration. Denniston notes that “no action is likely until the Labor Department gets a chance to reply.”

— by Matthew Ozga

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