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Division of Paid Care Proposed by NYC Council Speaker

February 12, 2016

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito dedicated a portion of her February 11 State of the City speech to addressing the needs of paid and unpaid caregivers.

During the speech, entitled “More Justice,” Mark-Viverito proposed that the Council pass legislation requiring the city to develop a comprehensive plan to identify the needs of family caregivers, and to improve services and supports available to them.

To address the needs of paid caregivers, such as home care aides, she proposed the establishment of a Division of Paid Care within the Office of Labor Standards, which was established through legislation in 2015.

According to a City Council press release, the Division of Paid Care will research workforce-related issues in home care and child care, and provide education about the rights and responsibilities of workers, clients, and families.

“The proposal for a Division of Paid Care within the Office of Labor Standards is a singularly important step in protecting the rights of home care and day care workers who serve thousands of New Yorkers,” PHI President Jodi Sturgeon said.

“Recent changes in wage and hour laws for home care workers, while improving hourly compensation, are not well understood in the industry,” she continued. “Fair treatment for these workers depends on workers and employers having a place from which to get accurate information.

“We salute the Speaker for this progressive idea which puts New York City on the side of its workforce, particularly the thousands of women who care for our young, our elderly, and people with disabilities,” Sturgeon concluded.

— by Allison Cook, PHI New York Policy Associate

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