HCA is calling on the New York City Council to withdraw proposed legislation that would create a new unfunded pay mandate for home care, hospice and Managed Long Term Care at a time when organizations are already facing major payroll and other financial impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Without an associated funding mechanism — nor any means for city government to commit to one — this bill would require employers in New York City to provide “premium pay” for non-salaried workers deemed “essential” in the current COVID-19 state of emergency, including home care personnel.
Under this bill, called the “Essential Worker Bill of Rights,” organizations with more than 100 employees would have to pay hourly “essential” workers the following bonus amounts on top of their regular wages: $30 for a shift under four hours, $60 for a shift of four to eight hours and $75 dollars for any shift over eight hours.
HCA has already asked the state Department of Health to consider funding increases so that home care, hospice and Managed Long Term Care organizations can provide enhanced pay to workers. In like form, we urge the Council to instead adopt a resolution requesting state and federal supplemental funding for this explicit purpose of frontline worker wage enhancement — a path that does not cause yet further financial duress to the home care system, undermining the Council’s otherwise laudable intent.