Bill would affect pay, scheduling for some nursing home housekeeping staff

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Nursing homes could face more stringent scheduling requirements for housekeeping workers and might be on the hook to compensate them for last-minute shift changes under a bill proposed in both houses of Congress.

The “Schedules that Work Act” is meant to provide protections for certain low-wage workers that face scheduling challenges. Some “cleaning employees” are among the covered workers. This could include housekeeping staff at nursing homes, a spokesman for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) told McKnight's. Harkin introduced the bill Tuesday in the Senate, and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) introduced it in the House of Representatives.

Employers would have to inform cleaning employees in writing of the “minimum expected” work hours per month, and would have to provide a work schedule two weeks in advance. Certain payment requirements would kick in for last-minute schedule changes; for instance, one extra hour of pay would be provided if a schedule is changed with less than 24 hours notice, unless the change is due to the “unforeseen unavailability” of another worker.

Other provisions call for extra pay for split shifts and for minimum payments for employees that are on-call for shifts.

Click here to access the complete bill text.

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