29 CFR § 779.369 - Funeral home establishments may qualify as exempt 13(a)(2) establishments.

§ 779.369 Funeral home establishments may qualify as exempt 13(a)(2) establishments.

(a) General. A funeral home establishment may qualify as an exempt retail or service establishment under section 13(a)(2) of the Act if it meets all the requirements of that section. Where the establishment meets these requirements generally all employees employed by the establishment will be exempt except any employees who perform any work in connection with burial insurance operations (see paragraph (b)) or who spend a substantial portion of their workweek in ambulance service operations, as described in paragraph (e) below.

(b) Burial insurance operations. There is no retail concept applicable to the insurance business (see § 779.317). Burial associations which enter into burial insurance contracts are generally regulated by the State and the regulations governing such associations are included in State statutes under Insurance. The contracts issued are very similar in form and content to ordinary life insurance policies. Income received from such operations is nonretail income and employees engaged in such work are not employed in work within the scope of the retail exemption (see § 779.308).

(c) Accommodation items. Amounts paid to funeral homes to cover the cost of “accommodation” items are part of the gross receipts of the establishment and are included in its annual gross volume of sales made or business done. Such items may include goods or services procured by the funeral home on behalf of the bereaved with or without profit but on its own credit or through cash payment by it, such as telegrams, long distance calls, newspaper notices, flowers, livery service, honoraria to participating personnel, transportation by common carrier, clothing for the deceased, and transcripts of necessary forms. For the purposes of determining the applicability of the retail or service establishment exemption, receipts of the funeral home in reimbursement for such services are considered derived from sales or services recognized as retail in the industry. Cash advances made as a convenience to a bereaved family are not included in computing the gross volume of sales made of business done when repaid. Of course, if interest is charged it would be included in the gross volume of sales and nonretail income.

(d) Nonretail services. Calling for and preparing bodies and crematory service for other funeral homes, burial insurance operations, and ambulance or livery transportation service (as distinguished from the use of ambulances or other vehicles as a necessary part of the undertaking, funeral, or burial services of the establishment), are some examples of a funeral home providing goods or services which will be “resold” or which are not recognized as retail.

(e) Ambulance service. The typical ambulance service establishment, engaged exclusively or nearly so in providing a specialized form of transportation for sick, injured, aged, or handicapped persons, is a part or branch of the transportation industry. Since there is no traditional retail concept in the transportation industry, such ambulance service establishments cannot qualify for the section 13(a)(2) exemption (see § 779.317). Income from the same typical ambulance services would be considered nonretail in applying the 25 percent tolerance for nonretail income in a funeral home. If an establishment engaged in a combination of funeral home and ambulance services meets all the tests for exemption under section 13(a)(2), as applied to the combined sales of both types of services, those of its employees who are engaged in the funeral home's activities and functions will be exempt as employees of a retail or service establishment. This exemption, however, does not apply to any employee regularly engaged in nonexempt ambulance transportation activities in any workweek when he devotes a substantial amount of his working time to such nonexempt work. More than 20 percent of the employee's working time in the workweek will, for enforcement purposes, be considered substantial.

(f) Out-of-State sales. An arrangement with a funeral home to embalm and ship human remains to a point outside the State for burial is not a sale within the State. The reverse situation where an out-of-State funeral director ships the remains to a funeral home to arrange for local interment also is not a sale within the State.

(g) Work for more than one establishment. Employees performing central office, supply, or warehouse functions for more than one funeral home establishment are not within the exemption (see § 779.310). However, where certain mortuaries may operate more than one exempt establishment and where employees such as embalmers employed by an exempt funeral home may be called upon in a given workweek to perform for another exempt establishment or establishments in the same enterprise work which is a part of the funeral home services sold by that establishment or establishments to customers, such employees do not lose the exemption where at all times during the workweek the employee is employed by one or the other of such exempt establishments either inside or outside the establishment in the activities within the scope of its own exempt business (see § 779.311(b)). In addition, where an establishment offering complete funeral home services also has outlying chapels where only the funeral services of the deceased persons are conducted, employees of the main establishment who are otherwise exempt do not lose the exemption by virtue of the activities which they may perform in connection with the funeral services held at the chapel. These activities are in such a case part of their employment by the exempt main establishment.