Below you will find updates to employment and Home Care laws based on the new 2023-2024 New York Budget. If you have any questions on any of the information herein, please do not hesitate to contact our office for additional information.
Minimum Wage and Wage Parity:
As of January 1, 2024, the home care worker minimum wage for New York City, Westchester, and Long Island will increase to $18.55/hour with the wage parity benefit of $3.22 or $4.09 reduced by $1.55. The minimum wage for the rest of New York State will increase to $17.55/hour. As of January 1, 2025, the home care worker minimum wage for New York City, Westchester, and Long Island will increase to $19.10/hour. The minimum wage for the rest of New York State will increase to $18.10/hour. As of January 1, 2026, the home care worker minimum wage for New York City, Westchester, and Long Island will increase to $19.65/hour. The minimum wage for the rest of New York State will increase to $18.65/hour.
Oversight of Providers‘ Payment of Wages and Benefits:
The DOH seeks to increase their oversight of wages and benefits paid to home care aides, and they may reach any provider or officer of the provider, so agencies should maintain complete records to provide as requested. The DOH may inquire about contracts, employment and other relationships, wages, compensation, and benefits paid to home care aides, which includes personal assistants in fiscal intermediaries. Information gathered by the DOH, not containing any identifiable data, will be provided to the Governor, Temporary President of the Senate, and Speaker of the Assembly, no less than annually.
New Staffing Agency Requirements:
The new budget also sets stricter registration and reporting requirements than previously. Subject to these are temporary health care service agencies and technology platforms. These include persons, firms, corporations, partnerships, associations, or other entities providing or procuring temporary employment of health care personnel, as well as app companies and nurses‘ registries. For purposes of the law, a “health care entity” means an agency, corporation, facility, or individual providing medical or health care services. The law applies to “health care personnel,” which includes CNAs, nurses, and other licensed or unlicensed direct care staff. These do not apply to LHCSAs and solo 1099 healthcare staff directly engaged by the healthcare provider.
All operators of temporary health care service agencies must register with the DOH. The commissioner will establish forms and procedures for obtaining the registration, which will be effective for one year. The forms will require the name and address of any controlling person of the agency, as well as that of any healthcare entities where they or their family have an ownership/management position. Applicants must show good moral character and ability to comply with law/regulations. There will also be a $1000 annual fee.
Staffing agencies must provide that each healthcare personnel provided to/contracted with healthcare entities meets the minimum licensing, training, and continuing education standards for the position. Agencies must also comply with all requirements for personnel employed in healthcare entities and retain records for six years, which must be available to the DOH upon request. Agencies must comply with any requests by the DOH to examine agency records or subpoena witnesses and documents in relation to an investigation concerning accurate financial reporting. Agencies may not restrict employment opportunities or require payments of liquidated damages, employment fees, or other compensation in the event that the temporary staff is hired permanently by the facility where they were placed.
Transfer of Ownership:
If ownership of 10% or more of a staffing agency or its management is sold or transferred, the registration may be transferred to the new owner/operator for 30 days, or until the new owner/operator is approved or denied a new registration by the DOH.
Minimum Standards for Operation:
Agencies must appoint an administrator for each location who is qualified by training, experience, or education to operate the staffing agency. Contracts with healthcare facilities must be written and comply with minimum requirements.
Public Notice and Reporting:
A list of all staffing agencies that are registered with the DOH will be posted on the DOH website, as well a quarterly report of aggregated data in relation to this law. Copies of contracts and invoices to healthcare facilities to which the staffing agency assigns/refers personnel must be submitted to the DOH within 5 business days of their effective date. These executed contracts will not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information law.
Compensation for Services:
Quarterly reports detailing charges and compensation must be submitted to the DOH. These reports must include hourly billing rates for healthcare personnel, including regular pay rate and shift differential, hazard pay, and any benefits provided, descriptions of administrative charges, and schedules of compensation. The report must also contain the percentage of entity dollars spent on staffing wages and benefits in relation to the agency‘s profits and costs, as well as the names of the healthcare entities that the staffing agency is in contact with in New York. Agencies must also report details regarding healthcare personnel, including the zip code of their primary residence and the number of personnel at each agency. The Commissioner of Health may request other information as needed.
Enforcement and Penalties:
Violations will be subject to penalties and fines, overseen by the NY Attorney General. Each violation committed by any individual of an agency will be considered a separate violation and will be subject to additional penalties and/or fines.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY SUBJECT MATTER. THIS LETTER DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND IS NOT PROTECTED BY ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE. PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS CHANGING RAPIDLY. BE SURE TO CHECK WITH OUR OFFICE FOR THE MOST RECENT, UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION.