Coke Reversed: Justices uphold regulation precluding home care employees from OT pay

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It was unanimous. Ugh. Paul Secunda has an account at Workplace Prof Blog. Previous FLP post about the case here.

Update: NYT coverage here. An excerpt:

… The Labor Department did not exceed its authority when it excluded home care workers from overtime protection and ”courts should defer to the department’s rule,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote, relieving employers and angering workers’ rights groups.

The Bush administration opposed Coke’s challenge to the Labor Department’s 1975 regulation. A new administration should rewrite it to give workers the protection they deserve, said the Service Employees International Union, which represents hundreds of thousands of workers in that industry.

The Clinton administration had drafted a regulation to cover the workers, but the rule was shelved after President Bush took office in 2001.

Home care aides are the key to the independent life senior citizens want, but lack of adequate pay is fueling turnover rates of 40 to 60 percent annually, the employees’ union says.

Government lawyers told the Supreme Court in April that the goal is ensuring that the elderly who most need home care service receive it ”at a reasonable cost.”

Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, called the decision ”another blow to struggling, low-wage women.”

Two weeks ago, the court limited workers’ ability to sue for pay discrimination, ruling against a Goodyear employee who earned thousands of dollars less than her male counterparts but waited too long to complain.

Half of home care workers are minorities, and 90 percent are women, according to 2000 census data. Their wages remain among the lowest in the service industry, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. …

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0 Responses to Coke Reversed: Justices uphold regulation precluding home care employees from OT pay

  1. brat says:

    bleh…what a disappointment. Particularly since the vast majority of home health aides are females.

    Bleh, ptooey….May Scalia spend 10 years changing bed pans and tending bed sores.