On April 3, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget bills, part of which implemented changes to the New York Home Care Worker Wage Parity Law (“Wage Parity Law”).
The Wage Parity Law contains minimum hourly compensation thresholds for home care aides employed in New York City and the surrounding areas, who perform Medicaid-covered work. Please see below a brief summary of the new changes made to the Wage Parity Law.
For your reference:
· Licensed Home Case Service Agency (LHCSA)
· Fiscal Intermediary (FI)
· Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA)
· Long Term Home Health Care Program (LTHHCP)
· Medical Care Plan (MCP)
Money returned to agencies (Effective Immediately)
The law prohibits any portion of the dollars spent to satisfy the wage or benefit portion to be returned to the LHCSA, FI, CHHA, LTHHCP, MCP or related entities (whether as a refund, dividend, profit, or in any other manner), other than to the home care worker to whom the wage or benefits are due.
Reporting Requirements (Effective Immediately)
All home care providers, such as LHCSAs, FIs and other agencies with a CHHA, LTHHCP, or MCP contracts, are required to file annual compliance statements, verified under oath, accompanied by an independently audited financial statement to verify wage parity hours and expenses. Signing a false verification is subject to criminal perjury penalties.
CHHAs, LTHHCPs, and MCPs are required to assess each annual compliance statement received and make a written referral to NYSDOL if they reasonably suspect any failures to conform with the Wage Parity Law requirements.
Noncompliance (Effective Immediately)
Any agency that pays less than the required minimums regarding wages and supplements, will be subject to criminal sanctions. A first offense is punishable by a fine of $500, imprisonment of a maximum of 30 days, or both. A second offense will be subject to a $1,000 fine and the agency will lose the contract and all payments under that contract under which the wage parity dollars were improperly paid.
Wage Parity Information Required to be Included on WTPA Notices and Wage Statements (Effective October 1, 2020)
All home care agencies must include Wage Parity information on a home care worker’s Notice of Pay Rate and weekly wage statements. Particularly, home care aides must be notified of the benefit portion of their total compensation under the Wage Parity Law, including the types of benefits provided and the entity providing such benefits.
For any questions, concerns or additional guidance regarding the Wage Parity Law Amendments, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 718-402-2240.