UNIONIZING HOME HEALTH CARE « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

UNIONIZING HOME HEALTH CARE

California May Require More Home Aide Disclosures Starting July 1, 2019

The Home Care Organization Consumer Protection Act (HCOCPA), effective  January 1, 2016,  requires licensing of home care organizations (HCOs) and registration of their home care aides (HCAs). The Home Care Services Bureau (HCSB) of California’s Department of Social Services (CDSS) regulates this industry. See Caregiver Agencies Must Comply with Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act or Cease Operation (January 2016).

The HCOCPA (Health & Safety Code section 1796.29) establishes an online registry containing an HCA’s name, identification number, registration status, and expiration date. The purpose is “to expedite the ability of a consumer to search and locate a registered home care aide or home care aide applicant,” enabling the public to learn if a caregiver had been background checked and trained and was affiliated with any particular HCO. Notably absent from disclosure was an HCA’s personal information.

However, last September AB 2455 amended section 1769.29.  Still prohibiting the Internet display of such information, after July 1, 2019 and upon an HCA’s new registration or renewal, the law requires electronic disclosure of his/her name, phone and cell phone numbers on request of a labor organization for the specific purpose of “organizing, representation, and assistance activities.”

If an HCA does not want that information disclosed to a union, the person has to opt-out by a “simple procedure” developed by the CDSS. The agency is expected to revise its forms and procedures by July 1, 2019.

HCO best practices would thus include informing its HCAs that if they wish to maintain privacy vis-à-vis labor organizers, they must affirmatively opt-out when applying for or renewing their registration on or after July 1, 2019. Watch for the CDSS’s amended renewal and registration forms and make sure HCAs are using the correct ones.

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For further assistance, please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin

May 24, 2019

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