powered by LeadingAge New York

LeadingAge NY Testifies at Senate Hearing on Call-in Regulations

LeadingAge NY testified at a Jan. 4th Senate hearing on the New York State Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed employee scheduling (“call-in”) regulations and submitted formal comments to DOL urging that long term care (LTC) providers be exempted from these impractical and damaging regulations.

LeadingAge NY was one of roughly a dozen groups in the state invited to appear before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business and the Senate Administrative Regulations Review Commission to discuss the impact of these regulations. Groups representing large and small businesses spoke against the regulations, emphasizing that they would lead to less flexibility for employees and employers and add costs which would hurt businesses and consumers.

Our testimony urged that LTC employers be exempted from these regulations since they fail to address the day-to-day employee scheduling realities that LTC providers face due to the ever-changing needs and health/safety of their patients and residents. We argued that the proposed regulations are not only impractical in LTC settings, but they could adversely affect quality of care, access to services, administrative costs, and provider finances. A recording of the hearing is posted on the Senate website, with LeadingAge NY’s testimony beginning at the 1 hour 55 minute mark.

DOL’s regulations govern “call-in,” “just-in-time,” or “on-call” scheduling of workers. They would expand the circumstances under which employers must provide call-in pay. Under current regulations, employers must pay employees for at least four hours of call-in pay if they report to work by request or permission of the employer. The proposed regulations would further expand on-call pay to apply when an employee:

  1. Reports to work for any shift that hasn’t been scheduled at least 14 days in advance (an additional two hours of call-in pay is required);
  2. Has his/her shift cancelled within 72 hours of the start of the shift (the employee must be paid for at least four hours of call-in pay);
  3. Is required to be on-call to report to work for a shift (he/she must be paid for at least four hours of call-in pay); and
  4. Is required to contact the employer within 72 hours of the start of the shift to confirm whether to report to work (he/she must be paid for at least four hours of call-in pay.)

Unless the employee reports and works, these additional call-in hours would be paid at the minimum wage rate.

The proposed regulations would provide exceptions for (1) employees covered by collective bargaining agreements that expressly provide for call-in pay; (2) workers who “volunteer to cover” another worker’s shift; (3) certain cancellation of shifts due to emergencies (e.g., weather, etc.); (4) employees during work weeks when their weekly wages exceed 40 times the applicable basic hourly minimum wage rate (except when the employee works the added time); and (5) new employees offered new shifts without a premium during the first two weeks of their employment.

The regulations were published in the State Register on Nov. 22, 2017. LeadingAge NY submitted formal comments to DOL late last week reflecting membership input and the issues covered in our testimony. We will keep members posted on the status of this proposal.

Contact: Dan Heim, dheim@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8866