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Standards for Home Caregiver Employment

In a significant development, on January 12, 2024, Governor Murphy of New Jersey signed into law S-723/A-822, known as the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights Act, set to take effect in July 2024. Here’s a breakdown of its key provisions:

– Definition of “hiring entity” includes both individuals and companies acting as employers.
– Requirement of a written contract for engagements exceeding 5 hours per month. The contract must outline duties, wages (including overtime), schedule, payment method, breaks, leave, holidays, housing value (if provided), and transportation needs. The agreement must be in English or the preferred language of the worker, with sample contracts provided by the State.
– Mandatory 30-minute meal breaks every 5 hours, with compensation if the worker must remain on duty.
– Limitation of consecutive workdays for live-in workers to 6 days, followed by a 24-hour rest period.
– Advance notice of termination, with exceptions for significant misconduct or practical necessity (such as the death or relocation of the care recipient).
– Protection of employee privacy and dignity, including safeguards against threats based on immigration status and provisions for presumed retaliation within 90 days of asserting rights.
– Establishment of a Domestic Workers Enforcement Program to regulate complaints, investigations, enforcement, and penalties.

Moreover, the law may have implications for Medicaid applicants under the MLTSS program, potentially mitigating transfer penalties during the 5-year lookback period through signed employment contracts with caregivers.

Our firm has helped assist many clients in establishing home health employment contracts. For personalized guidance on your specific situation, we encourage you to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys at 856-281-3131.

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