Los Angeles Increases Minimum Wage to $15.00/hr

The nation’s second-largest city, Los Angeles, voted Tuesday to increase its minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2020.

The increase comes as several large companies, including Facebook and Walmart, have moved to raise their lowest wages. Several other cities, including San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, and Oakland, California, have already approved increases and dozens more are considering doing the same. In 2014, a number of Republican-leaning states like Alaska and South Dakota also raised their state-level minimum wages by ballot initiative.

For more information on how using the latest workforce management solutions can help manage rising payroll costs AND improve retention, contact MITC today!

Court Hears Minimum Wage, Overtime Arguments

Two of the three judges on a powerful federal court appeared sympathetic to DOL’s argument to make home care providers of third-party employers eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay during oral arguments on Thursday, the Hill reported on Friday, May 8th.

At issue are workers who serve as aides for the elderly and disabled at home. While they are not providing healthcare, Judge Cornelia Pillard of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals suggested they should be treated as other professionals.

“It was the intent of Congress to give wage and labor protections to people who were doing this as their bread and butter,” she said, referring to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Under the Fair Labor Standard Act, third-party employers can be exempt from having to pay overtime if a domestic service employee is hired to provide companionship services to elderly and disabled individuals unable to care for themselves.

The Labor Department issued a rule to change the definition of “domestic service employment” and “companionship services” to remove the exemption which third-party employers have had since 1974. The new rule said if an employee is spending more than 20 percent of their day providing care — preparing meals, helping patients get dressed or use the bathroom — the employer would be disqualified from seeking the exemption. The rule also limited companionship and live-in employee exemptions to workers employed by the family or household receiving the care, such as in Consumer & Family-Directed Services.

Originally scheduled to have taken effect January 1, the DOL rule was overturned by Federal District Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in December 2014 and January 2015. The Labor Department argues that statute gives the agency the authority to define home care employees.

Following the arguments, labor rights advocates were optimistic the court will reinstate the rule, which was originally set to take effect Jan. 1 this year. In Thursday’s case, two of the judges hearing the case — Srinivasan and Pillard —  were nominated to the court by President Obama. Judge Thomas Griffith was nominated by Republican President George W. Bush.

Source: http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/241331-court-hears-appeal-for-wage-protections-for-home-health-aids

Caregiver Turnover Rises by 9%

Over the past year, caregiver turnover rate rose 9% to an average of 61%, said Aaron Marcum, founder and CEO of Home Care Pulse, and creator of the Private Duty Benchmarking Study.

The survey measures national and regional benchmarks of hundreds of private duty agencies across North America. This year’s edition included aggregated data of 701 providers representing more than 1,000 locations.

New to the survey this year, Home Care Pulse analyzed where providers rank in the overall industry when it comes to turnover.

  • 5% of agencies had a < 20% turnover rate
  • 50% of agencies had a 50% turnover rate
  • 61% was the average
  • 5% of agencies were as high as 174%

While no one is impervious to staff turnover, the phenomenon is particularly severe when it comes to home care, which faces an impending caregiver shortage as providers see a swelling aging demographic in the years to come.

While there are no quick fixes for turnover making a few key changes can increase caregiver retention and help alleviate the challenges agencies face by caregiver shortages.

  1. Ensure the agency HR system tracks turnover rates. If your agency is above 61%, the average, there should be room for improvement.
  2. Effective scheduling helps mitigate the costs of overtime.
  3. Flexible scheduling can help boost retention significantly, but requires managers or schedulers to be able to organize schedules quickly and effectively.
  4. Schedule prompting helps minimize absenteeism.
  5. Implementing employee self service reduces the cost of managing a changing workforce.

Source: http://homehealthcarenews.com/2015/04/caregiver-turnover-spikes-9-fuels-home-care-challenges/