New York City Councilman Seeks to Include Home Care Companies in City Fair Workweek Law, HCAOA Voices Opposition
New York City Councilman Christopher Marte recently introduced a bill that would amend the city’s Fair Workweek law by expanding it to cover employers in the home care industry. Specifically, the bill prohibits employers from assigning a caregiver to: (1) a single shift exceeding 12 hours; (2) consecutive 12-hour shifts; or (3) multiple shifts totaling more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period. It would also prohibit caregivers from working more than 50 hours in any single workweek. The bill, if passed, would effectively create a situation where home health care agencies would be unable to staff “live-in” cases. For instance, by allowing only 12-hour shifts and eliminating the traditional “live-in” (24-hour) shift, agencies that work with Medicaid-eligible patients, would have to staff each “live-in” shift with two aides—instead of one—and would receive reimbursement from Medicaid (if applicable) for only 13 of the 24 hours.
HCAOA contacted Councilman Marte to voice opposition to the bill, citing that caregivers should have the flexibility to work the shifts that are best for them and have the opportunity to work sufficient hours to meet their needs. Even with increases in minimum wage and the coming additional caregiver wage increases, HCAOA members believe there will still be the desire among some caregivers to exercise the flexibility to work more than 12 hours on occasion and more than 50 hours in a week.
HCAOA also emphasized that Councilman Marte’s proposal would further hamper an already overburdened home care community from providing safe, effective, and badly needed home care in New York. In fact, it would exacerbate the caregiver shortage, leaving our elderly or otherwise disabled clients in peril.
HCAOA will continue to follow up with his office and to offer additional suggestions and comments.