A03329 Summary:

COSPNSRColton, Cruz, Gibbs, Hevesi, Levenberg, Glick, Ramos, Reyes, DeStefano, Gallahan, Tapia, Simon, Raga
Add Art 19-E §§697 - 697-b, Lab L
Relates to the convening of a human services employee wage board; requires the commissioner of labor to convene a human services employee wage board comprised of twelve members; requires the wage board to hold hearings and report and make recommendations to the governor and legislature no later than December 31, 2023.
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A03329 Actions:

02/02/2023referred to labor
01/03/2024referred to labor
01/10/2024enacting clause stricken
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A03329 Committee Votes:

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A03329 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A03329 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 2, 2023
        Introduced by M. of A. JOYNER -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Labor
        AN  ACT  to amend the labor law, in relation to the convening of a human
          services employee wage board
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  The  labor law is amended by adding a new article 19-E to
     2  read as follows:
     3                                ARTICLE 19-E
     4                          HUMAN SERVICES EMPLOYEES
     5  Section 697. Statement of public policy.
     6          697-a. Definitions.
     7          697-b. Human services employee wage board.
     8    § 697. Statement of public policy. The legislature  hereby  finds  and
     9  declares  that there are persons employed by human services providers in
    10  the state of New York at wages insufficient to provide adequate  mainte-
    11  nance for themselves and their families.
    12    Human  services  workers  are  essential  to the state and localities'
    13  ability to assist new yorkers confronting a range of social  challenges.
    14  To  achieve  cost  savings,  government  has  transferred  most  legally
    15  mandated human services for New Yorkers to nonprofits and in  turn  have
    16  created massive pay disparities within the field. Government is not just
    17  the  predominant  funder  of  human services in New York, it is also the
    18  main driver of human services salaries as it directly sets salary  rates
    19  on  contracts  or does so indirectly by establishing costs for a unit or
    20  service, along with required staffing on a contract.
    21    Nonprofits contracted to provide human services are not only  provided
    22  insufficient  funding  to  pay their employees, but are met with chronic
    23  delays in payment, underfunding, and a lack of sincere collaboration  to

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 3329                             2
     1  create  meaningful and lasting interventions. Between two thousand eight
     2  and two thousand eighteen, the state cut human services funding by twen-
     3  ty-six percent, with lower rates now than in  nineteen  hundred  eighty.
     4  These  contracting  practices have created extreme pay disparities where
     5  human services workers make  on  average  seventy-one  percent  of  what
     6  government employees make, and eighty-two percent of what private sector
     7  workers receive.
     8    The  pay  disparities in the human services sector also have important
     9  consequences for race and gender equity.  The  human  services  provider
    10  workforce  of  nearly  eight  hundred  thousand people is overwhelmingly
    11  female (sixty-six percent), over two-thirds  are  full-time  workers  of
    12  color  (sixty-eight  percent),  and  nearly half (forty-six percent) are
    13  women of color. The majority (sixty-three  percent)  have  a  four  year
    14  college  degree or better; yet they make about twenty thousand dollars a
    15  year less than a public sector worker with a comparable education.
    16    Government savings are being borne on the backs of  low-income  neigh-
    17  borhoods  and black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities
    18  who get reduced services and a workforce that is predominantly  made  up
    19  of women and people of color who are paid poverty-level wages. The rela-
    20  tively  low  pay  in  the  core human services sector means that fifteen
    21  percent of all workers (both full- and  part-time)  qualified  for  food
    22  stamps in two thousand sixteen through two thousand eighteen.
    23    A  human  services employee wage board is necessary to investigate the
    24  pay disparities between government employees and employees of contracted
    25  human services providers and develop  recommendations  on  adequate  and
    26  equitable wages.
    27    § 697-a. Definitions. As used in this article:
    28    1.  "Human services" shall mean any service provided to individuals or
    29  groups of individuals, for the purpose of improving  or  enhancing  such
    30  individuals'  health  and/or  welfare,  by  addressing  social  problems
    31  including but not limited  to:  domestic  violence,  teenage  pregnancy,
    32  migrant health problems, child abuse, nutritional deficiencies, suicide,
    33  hunger,  unemployment, lack of suitable shelter, crime, drug and alcohol
    34  abuse, environmental justice, and poverty.
    35    2. "Human services provider" shall mean  any:  (a)  not-for-profit  or
    36  charitable  organization,  or (b) local agency as defined in subdivision
    37  three of this section, that (i) contracts with any state agency or other
    38  public entity, as defined in subdivisions four and five of this  section
    39  to provide human services as defined in subdivision one of this section,
    40  or  (ii)  directly or indirectly receives any public funds to provide or
    41  contract with third persons to provide human services for the benefit of
    42  the general public or specific client groups.
    43    3. "Local agency" shall include all county,  city,  town  and  village
    44  governing  bodies,  all other public corporations, special districts and
    45  school districts in the state.
    46    4. "State agency"  shall  include  any  department,  division,  board,
    47  bureau,  commission,  office, agency, authority or public corporation of
    48  the state.
    49    5. "Public entity" shall mean any local agency as defined in  subdivi-
    50  sion  three  of this section and any state agency as defined in subdivi-
    51  sion four of this section.
    52    § 697-b. Human  services  employee  wage  board.  1.  Membership.  The
    53  commissioner  shall hereby convene a human services employee wage board.
    54  The wage board  shall  be  comprised  of  twelve  members:  three  human
    55  services  employees,  three  human  services providers, three coalitions
    56  representing human services providers, and three  members  appointed  by

        A. 3329                             3
     1  the  commissioner, who shall be selected from the general public and one
     2  of whom shall be designated as chairperson. The wage  board  shall  hold
     3  its  first hearing no later than March first, two thousand twenty-three.
     4  The  members  of  the  board shall not receive a salary or other compen-
     5  sation, but shall be paid actual and necessary traveling expenses  while
     6  engaged in the performance of their duties.
     7    2.  Organization. Two-thirds of the members of the board shall consti-
     8  tute a quorum. The chairperson may from time  to  time  formulate  rules
     9  governing  the manner in which the wage board shall function and perform
    10  its duties under this article.
    11    3. Powers. The wage board shall have power to conduct public hearings.
    12  The board may also consult  with  human  services  providers  and  human
    13  services employees, and their respective representatives, in the occupa-
    14  tion or occupations involved, and with such other persons, including the
    15  commissioner,  the  commissioner  of  children  and family services, the
    16  commissioner of temporary and disability assistance, the commissioner of
    17  addiction services and supports, the director of the  state  office  for
    18  the  aging,  the commissioner of people with developmental disabilities,
    19  the commissioner of mental health, the commissioner of health,  and  the
    20  deputy  secretary  for  human  services  and mental hygiene, as it shall
    21  determine. The board shall also have power to administer  oaths  and  to
    22  require  by  subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and the
    23  production of all books, records, and other  evidence  relative  to  any
    24  matters  under inquiry. Such subpoenas shall be signed and issued by the
    25  chairperson of the board and shall be served and have the same effect as
    26  if issued out of the supreme court. The board shall have power to  cause
    27  depositions  of  witnesses  residing  within  or without the state to be
    28  taken in the manner prescribed for like depositions in civil actions  in
    29  the  supreme court. The board shall not be bound by common law or statu-
    30  tory rules of procedure or evidence.
    31    4. Public hearings. Within forty-five days of the appointment  of  the
    32  wage  board,  the  board  shall  conduct public hearings. The wage board
    33  shall only meet within the state and shall hold at least three  hearings
    34  at which the public will be afforded an opportunity to provide comments.
    35  At  least  one  Spanish  language  interpreter  shall be present at each
    36  public hearing to interpret oral testimony delivered in Spanish. Where a
    37  witness requests in advance of such hearing an interpreter in a language
    38  other than Spanish, including but  not  limited  to  sign  language,  an
    39  interpreter  in that language shall be provided. Any materials advertis-
    40  ing such hearings shall be bilingual  in  English,  Spanish,  and  other
    41  languages  commonly spoken by human services employees in the geographic
    42  region of the hearing. Any written materials disbursed at the hearing or
    43  subsequent to the hearing, including written testimony and hearing tran-
    44  scripts, shall be available in English, Spanish, and any other  language
    45  upon request and shall be made available in a format accessible to those
    46  with visual disabilities upon request. Any visual materials presented at
    47  the  hearing  or  subsequent to the hearing shall be made available in a
    48  format accessible to those with visual disabilities upon request.
    49    5. Report. The wage board shall make a report to the governor and  the
    50  legislature.  Such  report  shall  be published contemporaneously on the
    51  website of the department. The report and recommendations of  the  board
    52  shall  be submitted only after a vote of not less than a majority of all
    53  its members in support of such report and recommendations.  Such  report
    54  shall  be  submitted  no  later than December thirty-first, two thousand
    55  twenty-three.

        A. 3329                             4
     1    6. Considerations. The wage board shall consider the  pay  disparities
     2  between  human  services  employees  and  government  and private sector
     3  employees performing the same duties, fringe benefits and other employee
     4  benefits, human services employee wages relative to the federal  poverty
     5  guidelines,  the  impact  of  cost  of  living on human service employee
     6  wages, and recommendations for wages that  would  provide  for  adequate
     7  maintenance and to protect the health of human services employees.
     8    7.  Commissioner's actions. The commissioner shall comply with section
     9  six hundred fifty-six of this chapter upon receipt of the  wage  board's
    10  recommendations.  The  commissioner may reconvene the same wage board or
    11  appoint a new wage board in compliance with section six  hundred  fifty-
    12  nine of this chapter.
    13    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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