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LeadingAge's Legal Team provides technical assistance and policy guidance on legislation, regulations, court cases and other legal issues affecting aging services providers.

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Home Care: Court Actions Vacate Entire DOL Final Companionship Exemption Rule

Recent actions by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia have invalidated a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulation that would have significantly narrowed the definition of companionship services and required third-party employers to pay home care workers minimum wage and overtime. While the decisions likely will be appealed by the DOL, the regulation will not take effect unless and until a contrary decision is rendered by the appellate court.

Final NLRB Rule Could Bring Increased Union Activity in 2015

On December 12, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) approved a long-awaited final rule that amends representation procedures in hopes to accelerate the union election process. The final rule will take effect April 14, 2015, though employer groups have already mounted a challenge to the rule in federal court.

NLRB: Employees Have Right to Use Employer Email for Union Organization Efforts

A divided National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held last month in Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 126 (Dec. 11, 2014), that employees have the right to use their employers' email systems as a vehicle for exercising their Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), overturning a previous decision to the contrary.

Home Care: Federal Agencies Issue Reminder About ADA, Olmstead Obligations

With the Jan. 1, 2015, effective date for the U.S. Department of Labor final rule extending minimum wage and overtime benefits to most home care workers fast approaching, 2 federal agencies issued a letter directed primarily at state Medicaid agencies urging them to plan appropriately.

HIPAA: Sharing Patient Information During Emergencies

Citing the Ebola scare and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin outlining the rules for sharing patient privacy information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule during emergency situations.