One Year Anniversary of the New York Home Care Worker Wage Parity Act

One year ago, the New York Home Care Wage Parity Act, Public Health Law § 3614-c, went into effect and established minimum compensation requirements for home care aides who perform Medicaid-reimbursed work for certified home health agencies (“CHHAs”), managed care plans (“MCPs”), and long term health care programs (“LTHHCPs”).  The Wage Parity Law was designed to eliminate wage disparities in the state’s Medicaid-funded home health care workforce through three incremental wage increases.

The home care workforce is divided into two groups: (1) home attendants, also known as “personal care aides” and (2) home health aides.  Home attendants are required by state law to have 40 hours of entry-level training and 6 hours of in-service training annually.  Home health aides are required by federal and state law to have 75 hours of entry-level training and 12 hours of in-service training annually.  These two groups of workers have historically received different rates of pay resulting in home attendants receiving a minimum of $10 per hour while home health aides received an average wage of $8 per hour.  This resulted in a wage inversion meaning the more highly trained aides were earning less per hour than the home attendants.  The Wage Parity Act was designed to address this inversion.

Under the Wage Parity Act, employers are required to pay home care aides a minimum wage of $9.00 per hour starting on March 1, 2012 and hourly pay will increase to $10 per hour on March 1, 2014.  Employers must also either provide individual health insurance or pay an additional supplemental benefit.  Have you benefited from the Wage Parity Act?  Tell us your story here.

Abbey Spanier, LLP, located in New York City, is a well-recognized national class action and complex litigation law firm.