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Long Island Care v. Coke

United States Supreme Court
551 U.S. 158 (2007)


Evelyn Coke (plaintiff) was a domestic worker employed by Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. and its owner, Maryann Osborne (defendants). Coke provided “companionship services” to elderly and sick men and women. Coke sued the defendants under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), alleging that they failed to pay her minimum and overtime wages required by the FLSA. The FLSA excluded from coverage employees who were “employed in domestic service employment” and provided “companionship services.” The Department of Labor promulgated regulations exempting companionship workers regardless of whether they were paid by the families for whom they provided services or whether they were paid by third-party employers. The district court found that the Department’s regulation regarding third-party employers was binding and dismissed the case. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed. The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Breyer, J.)

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