Meaningful Break Time Essential for Workers
The New York Court of Appeals issued a major victory to the home health care industry when it allowed providers to continue to pay home care aides for 13 hours of a 24-hour shift as long as they received eight hours for sleep (five, uninterrupted) and three hours for meal breaks. The court reversed the lower court rulings which directed home care aides be paid for every hour of a 24-hour shift, regardless of breaks. The New York high court found the appellate courts failed to afford adequate deference to the DOL’s interpretation on the topic. The court remanded the cases for consideration of whether class certification is proper for the labor law violations alleged. The court also warned that a worker who does not receive meaningful breaks will be entitled to payment for the entire 24-hour period, not just the hours worked.