The federal Labor Department recently clarified when home care providers may apply the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sleep-time exclusion since the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime protections were extended to home-care employees late last year.
For example, the original sleep-time rules allowed employers to exclude sleep time from an employee’s compensation provided the parties had made a prior reasonable agreement to do so. As now applied to home care, a reasonable agreement means the worker “regularly has the opportunity to sleep overnight, rather than if the employee is present to actively provide around-the-clock care” according to Wage and Hour Division Field Assistance Bulletin 2016-1.
Let’s Sleep on It
Eldercare and other home care employers who are now subject to the FLSA under the recently enacted regulations should evaluate if their “sleep-time” arrangement complies with the Labor Department’s recent guidance on this issue.