Massachusetts Workers who Provide Home “Companionship Services” Are Entitled to Receive Overtime Compensation Despite a Recent US Supreme Court Decision

Gordon Law Group

On June 11, 2007, the United States Supreme Court confirmed that a Department of Labor regulation, which states that companionship workers who are employed by an employer or agency other than the family or household using their service are exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, is valid and binding. The decision is Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke.

Employees in Massachusetts, however, are also protected by the state Minimum Fair Wage Law. According to the Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage Law, all employees in Massachusetts must be compensated at the overtime premium of one and a half times their regular rate for all overtime (those hours worked beyond 40 hours a week). Only the specific types of employees located on a list located in Section 1A of Chapter 151 of the Massachusetts General Laws are exempt from this overtime requirement. And, companionship workers are not on this list.

As such, while companionship workers in Massachusetts are not entitled to receive overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act, they are entitled to receive overtime compensation under Massachusetts’ Minimum Fair Wage Law.

If you provide companionship services, either directly to a family or through a third-party agency, and your employer fails or refuses to pay you overtime, give us a call.

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