The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) issued a regulation at 454 CMR 24.00, published December 19, 2014, which no longer requires licensure or registration of agencies that directly employ workers to perform services of a domestic nature. Licensure is required of agencies that place or refer domestic employees.  The term “domestic employee” is defined as: “any worker who is paid directly by a household, family, or individual to perform work of a domestic nature, including, but not limited to, housekeeping, home management, nanny services, child monitoring, caretaking, laundering, cooking, home companion services, house sitting, and butler services for members of households or their guests in or about private homes. Domestic Employee does not include a person who performs services of a domestic nature as an employee of the business that places him, or a licensed medical professional, such as a medical doctor, registered or licensed practical nurse, or similarly trained and licensed individual who performs services relating to the delivery of specialized medical care.” 
Any business which is not engaged in placing domestic employees is therefore not regulated under 454 CMR 24.00.

DLS recognizes that for many years, it had issued employment agency licenses and placement agency registrations to many home care agencies which directly employed their workers.  As a consequence of the new regulation, home care agencies which employ their workers are no longer considered to be employment or placement agencies under M.G.L. c. 140, §46A or 454 CMR 24.02.

Please note that at no time was DLS ever issuing a “home care license” to any business.  The license which many home care agencies received from DLS was an employment agency license or placement agency registration in accordance with M.G.L. c. 140, §§46A-46R.   DLS is unaware of any state-issued “home care agency license” in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  For further information about operating a home care business in Massachusetts, including third party quality standards and accrediting programs, you may wish to contact one of the following industry organizations:

Home Care Aide Council
93 Concord Avenue, Suite 8
Belmont, MA 02478
PH: (617) 489-3550
FX: (781) 209-5977
Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts
31 St. James Ave., Suite 780
Boston, MA 02116
PH: (617) 482-8830
FX: (617) 426-0509