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The next HCN meeting is Tues, Mar 24
6:30 – 7:30pm

Whitewater Community Center
6125 Dry Fork Rd, Cleves 45002

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 9.11.15 AMGoToMeeting ID #221-408-773. Join us on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Click here for instructions on using GoToMeeting.

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Phasing Out Independent Providers – How did we get to this?

The plan to phase out Independent Providers in Ohio seemed to come from nowhere, but it has actually been two years in the making. The timeline as we understand it is given below along with links to important information and other sites.

October 1, 2013. The US Department of Labor promulgated a new rule extending the minimum wage and overtime protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to most home care workers. This is called the “Home Care Rule”. A fact sheet was published by the DOL on December 6, 2013. The rule was scheduled to become effective January 1, 2015 but the Home Care Association of America and similar organizations representing in-home care providers filed suit to prevent that.

More information  is available at the DOL website http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/.

December 15, 2014. DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and DHHS’ Office for Civil rights jointly issued a letter urging states to implement the Home Care Rule in a way that will keep them in compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
December 22, 2014. US District Court Judge Richard Leon issued an opinion and order vacating the third party regulation amended by the Home Care Final rule.
January 14, 2015 Judge Leon issued an opinion and order vacating the Home Care Final Rule’s definition of companionship services.
January 23, 2015 DOL appealed the district court decisions.
February 1, 2015 Governor Kasich unveiled the biennial budget proposal that will phase out Independent Providers.
March 18, 2015 Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DoDD) published an overview of the changes as they are expected to unfold in Ohio with important definitions of fiscal intermediary, common law employer and employer authority.
March 19, 2015 Federal Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez sent a letter to state governors warning them to ensure that their budgets comply with the new definitions in the Home Care Rule.

The DOL had a short “grace period” built into the rule stating that no enforcement actions would be taken against any employer for violations of FLSA relating to the new rule for six months, from Jan 1 2015 – June 30, 2015. If the rule is reinstated, there will be no changes to the timeline of the non-enforcement policy and all employers must be in compliance by June 30 of this year. The decision on the appeal is expected within the next two months.

These FAQs about the Home Care Rule address the criteria defining an independent contractor among other things. These fact sheets from the DOL  define companionship services and the role of paid family members under FLSA.

Another useful website is the National Resource for Participant-Directed Services http://www.bc.edu/schools/gssw/nrcpds/tools/flsahomecaretoolkit.html

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SaveDate

On Saturday May 16, from 1 – 4 pm, the HCN will host a block party at the Community Center shelter area. The whole community is invited! There will be food and fun for the whole family, with supports and accommodations for those who may need them. Come learn more about the HCN and have a good time!