U.S. House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) issued the following joint statement after the Department of Labor proposed expanding the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to home care providers:
"Once again, the administration is pursuing new regulations without regard for the potential unintended consequences. The president's goal is commendable, but the likely result of this new rule is reduced hours for home care workers and higher costs for taxpayers. Moreover, our nation's elderly may pay the greatest price in the form of more costly services and fewer opportunities to obtain the care they need in the comfort of their own homes.
"In October, the committee requested documents and communications that would clarify the consequences of this regulatory venture. Unfortunately, though not unexpectedly, the Department of Labor refused to provide an adequate response. We can't wait for the facts any longer; the American people deserve to know whether the administration has carefully studied this proposal, or if this is just one more holiday gift for their union allies. We urge the department to provide a full response to the committee's request without further delay."
NOTE: On November 3, the Workforce Protections Subcommittee held a hearing to examine regulatory actions under the FLSA, including proposals to extend the law's requirements to home care providers. The hearing raised troubling questions about the Obama administration's enforcement of the FLSA. During the hearing, Deputy Administrator Nancy Leppink failed to provide assurances that the department adequately studied the consequences of this proposal.