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Home health workers win one

In a possible big hit to home healthcare companies’  profit margins but a possible big win  for home-health workers, most of whom are very low paid, a federal appeals court has resurrected a Labor Department regulation extending minimum-wage and overtime pay to most home-health workers, reversing trial-court decisions. The latest decision is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit  unanimously ruled that the Obama administration regulation was “grounded in a reasonable interpretation of {law} and is neither arbitrary nor capricious.”

The opinion overturned decisions by U.S. Judge Richard Leon that had determined that the department lacked the authority for the rule.

The Labor Department, in appealing, asserted that the regulation was legally sound in providing pay protections to almost 2 million home-care workers, which include certified nursing assistants, personal-care aides and home-health aides. They mostly bathe, dress and feed elderly or disabled people in their homes.

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