Relates to limiting the work week of direct care workers.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to limiting the work week and double shifts of employees
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would ensure the safety of individuals with developmental disabilities who receive treatment from the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) by limiting the number of hours that employees at OMH, OPWDD, and OASAS facilities can work.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends Section 5.05 of the mental hygiene law by adding a new subdivision (e) which directs the commissioners of OMH, OPWDD, and OASAS to establish regulations that limit the work week for all employees of such offices to 60 hour. This amendment also requires the commissioners to establish regulations to prevent employees from working consecutive double shifts and from working more than two double shifts within a consecutive seven day work week.
JUSTIFICATION: Advocates for persons receiving services in the OMH, OPWDD, and OASAS systems have expressed concern that employees in OMH, OPWDD, and OASAS facilities are permitted to work an excessive amount of overtime, particularly "double shifts." There is a great deal of concern about an employee's ability to function and respond properly to various situations they may be presented with during their shift if they have been working excessive hours.
This piece of legislation is not only intended to provide for the safety of persons with developmental disabilities receiving care, but for the care givers as well. Working long hours With little or no rest in between shifts, is detrimental to an employee's physical and mental health. The negative impacts of excessive work hours without a break have been recognized in a number of other areas, particularly healthcare where, for example, restrictions have been placed on the number of consecutive hours a physician intern can work without an off period. In response to this concern, this legislation would limit the number of "double shifts" and the overall hours an employee in an OMH, OPWDD, or OASAS facility can work without a break.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New legislation.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 60th day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5716--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 13, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. McDONALD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to limiting the work week of direct care workers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 13.19 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new subdivision (f) to read as follows: (F) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW NO PROVIDER OPERATING A FACILITY LICENSED, OPERATED, OR CERTIFIED BY THE OFFICE SHALL REQUIRE A DIRECT CARE WORKER TO WORK MORE THAN SIXTY HOURS IN A SEVEN DAY WORK WEEK EXCEPT IN CASES OF EXTRAORDINARY EMERGENCY INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, FIRE, FLOOD, OR DANGER TO LIFE OR PROPERTY. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, "DIRECT CARE WORKER" SHALL MEAN AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IS THE DAILY CARE OF, SUPERVISION OF, AND INTER- ACTION WITH RESIDENTS OF A RESIDENTIAL FACILITY LICENSED, OPERATED, OR CERTIFIED BY THE OFFICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11758-03-1