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New York Home Care Agencies Sued by Department of Labor

New York -- January 23, 2023

Home Care Agencies in New York may be negatively impacted by the recent federal discrimination complaint filed against the New York State Departments of Health and Labor by labor groups representing home health aides. The complaint alleges that the agencies' policies and practices, which allow home health aides to be paid for only 13 hours of each 24-hour shift, subject these workers to "unconscionable levels of wage theft and make them extremely vulnerable to occupational injuries that often lead to permanent disability."


The complaint also claims that these policies disproportionately affect people of color and immigrants, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is significant because much of the home care provided in New York is funded by Medicaid, a health program for people with low incomes that is paid for through a mix of state and federal dollars. If the complaint is accepted by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Labor, and Health and Human Services, and an investigation finds violations, the agencies may take enforcement action, which could include the withdrawal of federal funding.


This could have a significant financial impact on Home Care Agencies that rely on Medicaid funding, as they may lose a crucial source of revenue that is needed to operate and provide services to their clients. The loss of funding could also lead to a shortage of home care services for vulnerable populations, such as low-income individuals and people with disabilities. Additionally, it could also lead to a reduction in the number of home health aides employed by the agencies, which could further exacerbate the shortage of services.


It is also worth noting that the complaint also highlights that some home care staffing agencies are avoiding liability by telling employees not to respond to their patients at night, except in the case of an emergency, and some workers have faced retaliation from their employers when they tried to properly report their hours due to the extra pay associated with fair compensation. This can have a negative effect on the quality of care that these agencies provide to their clients, as well as on the work conditions for the home health aides, which also can affect their willingness to work for these agencies.


Overall, the recent federal discrimination complaint filed against the New York State Departments of Health and Labor has the potential to have a significant impact on Home Care Agencies in New York, not only in terms of financial consequences but also in terms of the quality of care and work conditions provided.


If Home Care Agencies want to avoid being impacted by Lawsuits, they need to find a solution that allows live-in workers to properly document their work. Fortunately here at Carecenta, we have a full suite of tools that are perfect to ensure Agencies are within full compliance. Agencies are encouraged to schedule a demo with one of our home care experts.