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Group Home Employees: Wage and Hour Compliance
January 11, 2005

The United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division issued an opinion letter in July 2004, revising its position on compensation of sleep time for group home employees. Employers are not necessarily required to compensate employees who permanently reside at group homes for sleep time if the “permanent resident workers” meet these conditions:

1. Reside on the premises permanently;
2. Are completely free to leave the premises for their own purposes and engage in normal private pursuits during all non-duty time other than the sleep time;
3. Are paid for all time called to duty during the sleep time;
4. Are paid for all the sleep time if such time is interrupted for duty calls to the extent that the employees cannot get at least five hours of sleep during the period;
5. Typically work some hours during non-sleep time such as, but not limited to, during early morning hours and on weekends; and
6. Are paid for all work performed during non-sleep hours, i.e., duty hours in the mornings, afternoons, evenings, and on weekends.

Consistent with the reasons set above, DOL withdrew letters dated June 25, 1990 and January 6, 2000, to the extent those letters conflict with this stated position. The 1990 letter is not withdrawn with regard to workers who reside on the premises for an extended period of time or to relief workers. Agencies must ensure compliance with local and state laws or contracts that have other requirements.

For a copy of the DOL letter contact Linda Drummond at PCPA.

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