2016-17 Wage Parity Levels for New York City, Westchester and Long Island
The Department of Health (DOH) posted two Dear Administrator Letters for the 2016-17 wage parity levels for New York City, Long Island and Westchester counties.
New York City
The Nov. 2 NYC DAL provides Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs), Long Term Home Health Care Programs (LTHHCPs) and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) in New York City with an updated explanation of the existing rates as they relate to changes in the computation of overtime (OT). There is no change to the minimum rate home care aide total compensation. According to the DAL, for the period of March 1, 2016 through Feb. 28, 2017, the minimum rate home care aide total compensation will be $14.09, consisting of a base wage of at least $10.00 per hour, additional wages of up to $1.69 per hour, and supplemental (benefit) wages of up to $2.40 per hour.
Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties
The Nov. 2 Long Island and Westchester counties DAL provides all CHHAs, LTHHCPs and MCOs with the official notice pursuant to Public Health Law § 3614-c(3)(b)(iv). According to that provision of law for the period March 1, 2016 through Feb. 28, 2017 such total compensation must be no less than 115 percent of the total compensation mandated by New York City´s living wage law or; the total compensation mandated by the living wage law of Nassau, Suffolk or Westchester county, based on the location of the episode of care.
According to the DAL, for the time period of March 1, 2016 through Feb. 28, 2017, the minimum rate home care aide total compensation will be $13.22, consisting of a base wage of at least $10.00 per hour, and supplemental (benefit) wages of up to $3.22 per hour.
Overtime Update – As a result of the recent changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), OT is required at 1½ times the regular rate of compensation under the FLSA as well as under the NYS Labor Law's provisions for minimum wage and for domestic workers. DOH did provide a notice to clarify the extent to which OT pay can be used to satisfy the total compensation under wage parity. It states, “If a worker is being paid $15 an hour for overtime work, the total compensation rate of $14.09 (NYC) and $13.22 (LI/Westchester) will be fully satisfied during overtime hours.”
LeadingAge NY continues to seek clarification on paying OT in live-in situations and at times when the wage is higher than the base wage of $10.00 an hour. The Dept. of Labor has stated it is a DOH issue because wage parity is a New York State law and not a federal law. Our advocacy message remains the same – have a methodology to reimburse home care providers for the additional expenses of wage parity, OT, travel and other costs.
Questions on wage parity or these DALs should be emailed to: HCWorkerParity@health.state.ny.us.