URGENT CALL IN DAY – WEDNESDAY, OCT. 29!

URGENT DOL RULE ACTION ALERT

We need to Urge the U.S. Congress to Delay
the FLSA Companionship Changes

AND

We need to Urge New York State to Pay for the FLSA Companionship Changes if they are NOT Delayed!

CALL IN DAY OCTOBER 29, 2014

 Step 1: Read this Alert
Step 2: Call US Congressmen to urge them to DELAY the FLSA Companionship Changes
Step 3: Call Governor Cuomo to urge him to PAY for the FLSA Companionship Changes if they are NOT delayed.

BACKGROUND

On October 1, 2013, the US Department of Labor (DOL) published changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that require state Medicaid programs to pay time-and-a-half for overtime and travel time. These rules go into effect on January 1, 2015, but DOL didn’t release important guidance until the summer of 2014. By then, most states already established their budgets, and without time for states to develop and fund plans to comply with the rule, they will simply cap the hours attendants can work to avoid overtime and potentially cut services to consumers receiving HCBS services.

Disability advocates urged DOL to give us more time to secure state funding to pay for the overtime and travel time. To do that, the changes to the Companionship Exemption need to be delayed for at least 18 months, to give advocates and states the time they needed to create an appropriate plan to comply with the changes without harming people with disabilities and attendants!

DOL stated it will not allow states & advocates reasonable time to change policies and procedures by putting in place a common sense delay of these changes. It now falls to the New York State to make sure that it uses every mechanism available to adequately fund the changes while people try to adjust.

DETAILS FOR CONTACTING CONGRESS:

CALL:

Senator Lamar Alexander (R –TN) at 202-224-4944
Senator Tom Harkin (D – IA) at 202-224-3254
US Representative John Kline (R – MN) at 202-225-2271
US Representative George Miller (D- CA) at 202-225-2095

OUR MESSAGE TO THEM

Changing the Fair Labor Standards Act was supposed to improve the lives of people with disabilities, and attendants, but implementing these rule changes without giving states time to fund them is doing the exact opposite. Please publicly support the rights of people with disabilities and the attendants who make our independence possible. WE NEED LEGISLATION TO DELAY THESE RULES FOR AT LEAST 18 MONTHS. Without your help, attendants who currently work more than 40 hours will have their hours capped and lose vital income, and the shortage of attendants will escalate into a crisis and people with disabilities will be forced into institutions.

DETAILS FOR CONTACTING CUOMO:

CALL:

Governor Cuomo at (518) 474-8390.

OUR MESSAGE TO HIM

Consumer Directed Personal Assistance allow people with disabilities to stay in their own homes. Help protect the rights of people with disabilities to stay in their own homes and protect their attendants’ paychecks! I need you to take emergency action to prevent a crisis in continuity of care as a result of the changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Use programs authorized in the budget to provide enough money to pay workers for their overtime.  

Take the time and call the U.S. Congressmen AND the Governor’s office. This could be the difference between your home and a nursing home.

Thank you,Dean DeRusso
Deaf Systems Advocate
Regional Center for Independent Living (RCIL)
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