City Sticks Health Agencies for Violating Sick Leave Law

City Sticks Health Agencies for Violating Sick Leave Law

January 9, 2020 Off By administrator

Commissioner Lorelei Salas (center) talks to health aides at a Paid Care Worker gathering.
Photo: Courtesy of the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection

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Eleven private city-based health care agencies failed to give their staffers basic paid sick leave, a city investigation found.

The agencies agreed to pay a total of nearly $450,000 in restitution to more than 4,100 home health aides, the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection said Wednesday. The agencies also were forced to pony up nearly $122,000 in civil penalties and take steps to rectify their policies.

The employers include nursing homes and home care agencies, records show.

Shortly after becoming mayor, Bill de Blasio signed the paid sick leave law over objections from business leaders who argued it would disproportionately hurt small firms.

Bill de Blasio signed the city's paid sick leave law shortly after becoming mayor.

Bill de Blasio signed the city’s paid sick leave law shortly after becoming mayor.
Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

The law requires employers with five or more employees who work more than 80 hours annually in the city to give staffers at least five paid sick days a year.

News of the city’s investigation came as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he’d try to pass a statewide paid sick time law during the upcoming legislative session.

City investigators have “uncovered widespread violations of the law,” by booming home health care industry since 2017, the consumer protection agency said in a statement.

The health agencies were fined for issues that ranged from failing to allow staff to use paid sick leave to not posting notice of workers’ rights to blocking carryover of unused leave, records revealed.

“I think there’s a whole host of problems in the health industry in implementing paid sick time,” said Sherry Leiwant, co-founder of A Better Balance, a legal advocacy organization that advances policies to support workers.

Two cases of the latest city cases involving “wage parity concerns” were forwarded to state Attorney General Letitia James for possible criminal charges, city officials said. The cases remain open.

The 11 health agencies that settled cases with the city are: Pella Care; Elite HHC; The Royal Care; Fadmo Health and Home…

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