Enter the Fair Pay for Home Care Act, tirelessly advocated by Sackman and Caring Majority. If included in the state’s 2023 budget, the law would mandate that home care workers earn at least 150 percent of the regional minimum wage, raising their wage floor to between $19.80 and $22.50. Currently, in many New York counties, home care workers earn a minimum wage of $13.20 an hour — less than they would make while working at McDonalds.
The “carefully written” legislation, Sackman explains, includes a funded mandate: a plan to set a minimum Medicaid reimbursement rate for providers, ensuring that home care agencies’ administrative costs and home care workers themselves are properly paid.
A March 2021 CUNY report concluded that the Act would annually net over $3.6 billion for the state and would quickly eliminate the labor shortage – generating tens of thousands of new jobs for a workforce that is currently 90 percent women, 67 percent immigrants, and 75 percent women of color. Investing in this workforce, the report concludes, would “advance racial and gender equity – while also generating large-scale economic benefits for the state.”