HCA Testifies Before NYC Council Members on Premium Pay Legislation

On Tuesday, May 5, HCA’s Director for Public Policy, Alyssa Lovelace, testified remotely before the New York City Council’s Committee on Civil Service and Labor on Int. 1918-2020, New York City legislation that would mandate “premium pay” for essential workers.

The Committee hosted the hearing to seek opinions from a number of stakeholders on the package of “essential worker” bills that were introduced in mid-April.

Among those who testified were New York City Department Officials, essential personnel, lawyers, local organization executives, and health care providers and employees. An archive of the hearing can be found here.

HCA’s testimony included a simple ask — the Council should work with colleagues in state and federal government to first set aside funding for premium pay for essential workers, and then distribute the funding accordingly. While there was much support for the package of bills to support essential employees during this crisis, and for Int. 1918 specifically, it is HCA’s understanding that NYC officials do not have the authority to mandate premium pay to health care employees given that Medicaid and Medicare are state and federally funded. This notion has been echoed by other provider associations.

With that, Lovelace stated that HCA has, along with others, already sought assistance from the state Department of Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to consider funding increases so that home care, hospice and MLTC organizations can provide enhanced pay to workers. Lovelace also urged the Council to instead adopt a resolution requesting state and federal supplemental funding for this explicit purpose of frontline worker wage enhancement.

Under this legislation, 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. The legislation does not provide an associated funding mechanism to pay for the additional bonuses.

Read HCA’s testimony on Int. 1918-2020 here.

Read HCA’s Memo of Opposition With Recommendations here.

For questions or concerns, please contact Alyssa Lovelace at alovelace@hcanys.org.