Home health aides will receive from this month an increase in the minimum wage, as announced this week by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).

Through the Public Health Law § 3614-f, the minimum wage for home health aides will be $17 dollars per hour in New York City, Long Island and Westchester, and $15.20 per hour for the rest of the state, according to the NYSDOL.

“We know how valuable our home health aides are, especially with the shortage we are currently seeing,” said the New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon.

“This minimum wage increase will ensure that home health aides are well paid and able to support themselves and their families, which will help attract more people to the profession. Overall, this will ensure better worker retention and patient care,” she added.

Since December, the Commissioner and the Director of the State Budget raised the general minimum wage to $14.20 for counties outside of New York City, Westchester and Long Island, and this new increase means an additional $1.00 per hour for health assistants in home in those places.

Under Public Health Law § 3614-f, “home health aides” means a personal care provider, home health aide, or other licensed or unlicensed person whose primary responsibility includes providing assistance in the home with activities of daily living, important activities or tasks related to health; provided, however, that home health aide does not include any person who works on an occasional basis, or is related by blood, marriage, or adoption to: the employer; or the person for whom the worker is providing services, under a program funded or administered by the federal, state or local government.

An additional payment

Home health aides may be owed additional pay in addition to minimum wage rates for:

  • Overtime: Home health aides must be paid 11/2 times their regular rate of pay for weekly hours worked in excess of 40 (or 44 for residential employees).
  • Pay Per Call – If home health aides go to work as scheduled and their employer sends them home early, they may be entitled to additional hours of pay at the minimum wage rate for that day.
  • Distribution of Hours: If a home health aides workday lasts more than ten hours, they may be entitled to additional daily pay. The daily rate is equal to one hour of pay at the minimum wage rate.
  • Uniform Maintenance: If home health aides clean their own uniform, they may be entitled to additional weekly pay.

The only time an employer can reduce wages below the minimum wage is to claim a limited subsidy for meals and lodging, as long as they do not charge for those services.

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