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HCA Submits Comments on State DOL 24-Hour Rule

HCA submitted comments last week on a state Department of Labor (DOL) proposed rule that would exclude sleep time and meal periods from compensable hours for an “employee” – not limited to a home care aide – who works on shifts of 24 hours or more.

This proposed rule is similar to a home care-specific emergency rule issued by DOL in October 2017 and renewed numerous times under which DOL codified “the Commissioner’s long-standing and consistent interpretation that compensable hours worked under the state Minimum Wage law do not include meal periods and sleep time of home care aides who work shifts of 24 hours or more.”

The proposed rule on which HCA submitted comments will also be the focus of a state DOL hearing on July 11 in Brooklyn, at which HCA will testify.

At the hearing, we will be focusing on the necessity of preserving the “13-hour rule” for home care aides, whereby aides on 24-hour/live-in cases are paid for 13 hours if they are able to obtain 8 hours of sleep, 5 of which are uninterrupted, and 3 hours for meals.

HCA members are encouraged to also testify and/or submit comments and can use our testimony and comments to support their position. Comments are due by July 16 (5 days past the hearing) and should be sent to comments@labor.ny.gov.

HCA has worked extensively to gain reinforcement of the “13-hour rule” for 24-hour/live-in cases, including advocating for DOL and state Department of Health guidance and support, submitting amicus briefs on important court cases that involve challenges to this standard, and holding member briefings and education programs on this vital labor issue.

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