Late Friday evening, October 6, 2017, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) issued an amendment to the Minimum Wage Order regulating home care workers, that affirmed the highly debated 13-hour live-in rule applies to all New York home care workers. The 13-hour live-in rule states that home care workers should be paid for 13 hours of a 24 hour live-in shift, which excludes eight hours for sleep and three hours for meal periods.
In September, the home care industry’s business model was challenged when the New York State Appellate Division, the second highest court in the state, decided two cases on this issue and held sleep and meal periods must not be excluded from the hourly wages of a home care worker who does not reside in the home of the agency’s client. This had far-reaching, potentially devastating implications for the industry, given the far majority of home care workers have their own residences and do not permanently reside with the client. Home care agencies were faced with the decision to drop their live-in clients or restructure their business in a way to minimize as much additional wage cost as possible.
The DOL’s Wage Order revision to Section 142-3.1 adds to the previous language, which was at issue in the courts, and explicitly states the Wage Order does not require the minimum wage be paid for sleep and meal periods for non-residential home care worker who works a shift of 24 hours or more.
If you have any questions on this amendment, please contact us.