|Feb. 2, 2015 | www.fisherphillips.com|
Most healthcare employers require employees to wear some sort of uniform. Of course, the most familiar uniforms in this setting are “scrubs,” but some employers require lab coats or other garments.
Some healthcare employers also require that uniforms be cleaned daily and be wrinkle-free. Does the clean and wrinkle-free requirement mean that employees must be paid for the time they spend washing and ironing their uniforms? That issue lies at the center of a recent lawsuit filed under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) against a nursing home facility in Pennsylvania. Guerra v. Heartland Employment Services LLC.
A federal judge has scuttled key aspects of the U.S. Labor Department's (DOL's) rule that would have extended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime requirements to many home care workers. The rule was to have gone into effect January 1, 2015.
Although DOL has appealed the court's rulings, for now, home care agencies may anticipate that DOL will not be enforcing those requirements as to home care aides and personal care attendants who fall within that law's companionship and live-in-domestic exemptions under the regulations that DOL sought to change.
Healthcare providers are required by law to maintain the privacy of most patient information, and there are good business reasons for medical practices to protect patients’ personal information. In a recent case, a medical practice group found itself unwittingly having to disclose what it considered to be private information of its patients in order to defend a lawsuit brought by former employees. Peace v. Premier Primary Care Physicians, S.C.