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State DOL Employee Scheduling Rule Put on Hold

HCA has learned that the “Employee Scheduling” rule, which was proposed by the state Department of Labor (DOL), will not be promulgated at this time, due to comments raised by HCA and other organizations who argued that the approach was impracticable to certain industries or sectors, like home care and hospice.

The rule, first proposed on November 22, 2017 and then revised on December 12, 2018, would have required employers to pay additional hours for “unscheduled shifts,” “cancelled shifts,” “on-call” and “call for schedule.” HCA had argued that the proposal was incompatible with how care at home is delivered, where hours are started, increased, decreased or eliminated due to reasons unique to home care and hospice and their patients, and beyond the control of the employer.

“Based on extensive feedback in the subsequent comment period, it was clear the Department’s initial intent to support workers while being fair to businesses was viewed as a one-size-fits-all approach that was not appropriate for every industry,” says DOL in a press statement.

DOL adds: “At this time, due to the constraints of the regulatory process, the best course of action is to let this process expire and re-evaluate in the future, likely in concert with the Legislature, which would have a broader authority and better legal standing than Department of Labor regulations alone to balance the various needs of workers, businesses and industries.”

When the rule was first proposed, and that proposal later amended, HCA submitted comments and spoke numerous times to DOL officials to describe how the rule was contrary to the operation of home care and hospice and would adversely affect the delivery of services. In addition, we submitted testimony for a state Senate hearing on the proposed rule, and provided education programs on the rules for members.

We thank DOL for listening to our concerns and are available to work with DOL and the Legislature on this issue.