home care worker with patient

The last few years have been particularly stressful for home care workers who have had to contend with COVID-19 and, more recently, crippling inflation. Now, those workers are getting a break in New York. The legislature has approved a budget that will raise the pay of home care workers by $3 over the course of two years. Are you being paid the minimum wage that you deserve for the kind of work you do? The Lore Law Firm can advise you.

More Pay for New York Home Care Workers

Starting in October 2022, home care workers saw a bump in their hourly wages of $2. Another increase of $1/hour will go into effect in 2023. The legislation was the result of intense activism by those who have long sought increased pay for workers who have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and record levels of inflation.

The State of New York is investing $7 billion in its budget to make the increases happen. Bill Hammond, senior fellow for health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy, which is an independent think tank, notes that New York is not doing this for any other segment of the state’s healthcare industry. In fact, he said, “This group of workers now has the highest minimum wage of any category.”

New York’s general minimum wage is $15/hour for New York City, Westchester County, and Long Island. The rest of the state currently has a $14.20/hour minimum wage. Therefore, the phased-in wage hike for home healthcare workers will affect different workers depending on where in the state they live.

Your Minimum Wage May Be Different than Someone Else’s

New York’s minimum wage scheme is a bit complicated compared with most other states. That’s because, as the home care increases mentioned above clearly show, the industry in which you work could affect the minimum hourly rate to which you are entitled. So could the place in which you live. Because of higher costs of living in New York City, Westchester County, and Long Island, their minimum wage rates have historically been higher than those of the rest of the state.

If you live in New York State, therefore, you deserve to know what minimum wage you deserve to be paid. You cannot always count on employers to correctly inform you of this rate. Some employers are unaware that certain industries and regions demand a higher rate, while others simply turn a blind eye to these differences. You can check with the New York Department of Labor as well as the city or county in which you live to determine what your rate should be. Bear in mind that some rate hikes take place gradually, including the home care worker increase.

Let The Lore Law Firm Assist You with Your Minimum Wage Case

If your employer is not paying you the required minimum wage, regardless of which state you live in or the industry in which you live, you could be losing untold sums of money through wage theft. While the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the federal minimum wage, many states and cities have chosen to adopt even higher hourly rates. Whenever there are conflicting minimum wage rates (e.g. federal versus New York), the higher rate applies.

Have you been denied fair compensation for your work? It’s time to let The Lore Law Firm perform a free case evaluation for you. Fill out our confidential client intake form today to get started.

Michael Lore is the founder of The Lore Law Firm. For over 25 years, his law practice and experience extend from representing individuals in all aspects of labor & employment law, with a concentration in class and collective actions seeking to recover unpaid back overtime wages, to matters involving executive severance negotiations, non-compete provisions and serious personal injury (work and non-work related). He has handled matters both in the state and federal courts nationwide as well as via related administrative agencies. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Michael by using our chat functionality.