One of the many new provisions enacted as part of the 2023-2024 New York State Budget was an increase in the minimum wage for home care workers.
Initially, it is important to note that the $1 hourly increase in the minimum wage for home care workers in New York State, slated to take effect October 2023, will not occur as was planned. Instead, starting January 1, 2024, the minimum wage for home care workers will now increase three times over three years.
As with other minimum wage increases, the wage increases differ between the five counties in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester County (“Downstate”), and the other 54 counties (“Remainder of the State”).
Downstate, effective January 1, 2024, the minimum wage will increase from $17, where it stands now, to $18.55. These rates are then scheduled to increase annually to $19.10 on January 1, 2025, and to $19.65 on January 1, 2026.
Significantly, for certain Downstate home care workers, the increase in 2024 will be offset by a contemporaneous reduction in the supplemental wage or benefit portion of the Home Care Wage Parity Law, which applies only to Medicaid-reimbursed home care work performed Downstate. The Wage Parity Law, originally passed in 2012, requires a supplemental wage (in cash or benefits) be paid in addition to home care workers’ regular minimum wage. Effective January 1, 2024, in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, this supplemental portion will be reduced from $3.22, where it stands now, to $1.67. In New York City, the supplemental portion will be reduced from $4.09 to $2.54. This $1.55 reduction equates to the $1.55 increase to the cash portion of the minimum wage at that time.
Entities subject to the Home Care Wage Parity Law are still required to submit forms in the eMedNY system certifying compliance with the Home Care Wage Parity Law, as well as provide employees a notice which details the supplemental wage/benefit portion.
Remainder of the State
For home care workers performing work in the Remainder of the State, the minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $17.55 on January 1, 2024, and increase to $18.10 on January 1, 2025, and $18.65 on January 1, 2026.
Statewide, starting in 2027, the minimum wage is set to increase further based on an index tied to inflation.
It is important to remember that changes to this area of the law occur frequently. Compliance with the applicable minimum wage should be regularly monitored.
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