Capitol Correspondence - 04.15.19

Fair Scheduling Campaigns on the Rise; Without Additional Funding This Could Affect Disability Supports

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ANCOR is sharing this article by Home Health Care because the campaigns it describes could have inadvertent effects on the direct support professional workforce crisis. That is because policy-makers across all levels of government do not always take into account how changes in labor policies can apply unintended pressure on the fixed, non-negotiable Medicaid funding that go towards this workforce’s wages and recruitment.

As written by Home Health Care:

“In recent years and months, rising minimum wage has been top of mind for home-based care providers, adding another level of difficulty to attracting and retaining workers. But fair scheduling legislation that’s gaining steam in cities and states across the country could soon take center stage — and potentially make matters worse. 

Fair scheduling legislation varies across the country, but generally, the rules mandate employees must receive set work schedules a certain number of days in advance and a certain number of rest hours in between shifts. 

If employers don’t meet requirements, they must pay workers a premium rate — a stipulation that could devastate home-based care providers, who already have tight profit margins and often need to provide last-minute care to clients. Additionally, a large portion of home care clients are frail older adults with complex medical conditions, meaning they’re often in and out of the hospital and need to cancel scheduled visits.

‘In certain industries where volatility in the schedule is second nature — that is what the business is and everybody understands it — those kinds of laws just don’t work,’ Angelo Spinola, shareholder and attorney at international labor and employment law firm Littler Mendelson, told Home Health Care News. 

In most states and cities with fair scheduling laws, the rules only apply to certain industries, such as retail, hospitality and food services. Some examples include the state of Oregon, along with the cities of San Francisco and Seattle.

Meanwhile, Vermont is the only state where home-based care providers are not exempt from fair scheduling laws, Spinola said. 

But that could change in the future. For example, a fair scheduling ordinance being considered in Chicago casts a wide net and would apply to most industries, including home-based care.”