Victory for Home Health Aides in New York State

On September 26th, 2018, NCLEJ and co-counsel Virginia & Ambinder, LLP won a victory for home health aides in New York State. Justice Eileen A. Rakower of the New York State Supreme Court issued a decision and order striking down the New York State Department of Labor’s emergency rules that allowed employers to pay home health aides who work 24 hour shifts for only thirteen hours of work. NCLEJ applauds this decision and order protecting the rights of home health aides, most of whom are women of color, and many of whom are immigrants.

Emergency rulemakings are intended to be used in true emergencies, when it is simply not possible to allow the public to weigh in on a proposed regulation, as is usually required. In promulgating the emergency rules, the NYS Department of Labor deprived low income workers of the opportunity to voice concerns about a rule that has an immense impact on their livelihood and economic survival.

The Court held that no true emergency existed to justify this deprivation, and as a result, the emergency rules are void.