Action Alert: Urge Congress to Delay the FSLA Companionship Changes!

The Department of Labor ignored the disability community and implemented changes that will hurt attendants and people with disabilities if states don’t have more time to prepare!

On October 1, 2013, US Department of Labor (DOL) published changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act that will require state Medicaid programs to pay time-and-a-half for overtime and pay for travel time.  These rules were intended to go into effect on January 1, 2015, but DOL didn’t release important guidance on critical issues until the summer of 2014.  By that time, most states had already established their budgets, and without time for states to develop and fund plans to comply with the rule, they will simply cap the hours attendant can work to avoid overtime.  This will:

  • Undercut the ability of people with disabilities and seniors to live in the community,
  • Undermine our ability to decide who comes into our homes and touches our bodies, and
  • Hurt attendants by reducing their income.

To avoid this, disability advocates urged DOL to give us more time to secure state funding to pay for the overtime and travel time.  To do that, the changes to the Companionship Exemption needed to be delayed for 18 months.  That would have given advocates and states the time they needed to create an appropriate plan to comply with the changes without harming people with disabilities and attendants!

The Obama Administration sided with organized labor and kept the original deadline, implementing the rules on January 1st, even though they know this will hurt both attendants and attendant service users.

Notices about attendant hours have already started coming out.  (See links below.)  We need members of Congress to step in.


Maxim Letter Capping Hours

Cap in Hours Notice (.pdf)

Cap in Hours Notice (.html)

Thank you,Dean DeRusso
Deaf Systems Advocate
Regional Center for Independent Living (RCIL)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *