FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/5/18
Statement by Claudia J. Hammar, President of the New York State Association of Health Care Providers (HCP), on 24-Hour Live-In Shifts
The New York State Association of Health Care Providers strongly disagrees with recent statements by some groups that the Cuomo Administration and the home care industry are “enslaving workers around the clock” and “profiting from the exploitation of women” related to workers on 24-hour live-in shifts. The State and the home care industry have long supported home care workers, including supporting an increased minimum wage, providing training to help advance workers’ careers and many other measures; and the Cuomo Administration has a long history of supporting a wide variety of women’s rights initiatives.
Home care agencies that provide 24-hour live-in services to care for the elderly and disabled in their homes provide essential care for thousands of New Yorkers. To imply that the entire home care industry is creating “sweatshops” for 24-hour live-in workers is patently false and misleading. The vast majority of home care agencies that deliver these services pay their workers in accordance with longstanding New York State Department of Labor guidance, which states that workers are to be paid 13 hours of a 24-hour shift provided that they have 8 hours of sleep time – 5 of which are uninterrupted – and 3 hours for meals. Workers who are interrupted during their sleep time to attend to patients are to be paid for the hours worked, and home care agencies have policies and procedures in place for workers to notify them should this situation arise so that the appropriate wages can be paid.
The majority of 24-hour live-in cases are reimbursed through the State’s Medicaid program, and with the State’s current $4.4 billion deficit and significant cuts looming from the Federal government as outlined in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, financial resources for all government programs will be facing massive cuts. The cost to the State’s Medicaid program to pay all 24 hours of a live-in shift would double the cost to Medicaid, costing the State billions of dollars that it does not have. The result will be that 24-hour live-in care will no longer be available for the thousands of New Yorkers who rely on it.
Alyssa Lovelace, Director for Public Policy
518.463.1118, ext. 818