NAHC to Congress: Big Investment in HCBS is Needed Now

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has joined a large group of likeminded organizations in urging leaders in both houses of Congress and both parties to ensure that Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) remain part of any package that moves forward. A large investment is essential for building a sustainable HCBS infrastructure that can begin to address the magnitude of need in our communities, both increasing access to Medicaid HCBS and addressing the direct care workforce crisis–creating more direct care jobs to support people with disabilities and aging adults, and making those jobs better.

To address the long-standing inequities the pandemic exposed and exacerbated, this investment is critical to fortify a workforce that must continue to expand to meet a rapidly increasing level of need. The HCBS workforce provides vital services, and yet these workers– who are primarily women of color–have been devalued and underpaid for decades, leading to severe staff shortages that can result in crucial gaps in service availability, lengthy waiting lists, service line closures, and additional obstacles to achieving a high quality of life for workers and recipients alike.

Due in large part to a long history of inadequate funding at the federal level, the system itself is not serving everyone who needs HCBS, even though most people far prefer to remain in their homes as they age, and research has shown that quality of life is significantly improved when individuals are able to live in the community. Further, people with disabilities of all ages have a legal right to receive services and supports in the most integrated setting, regardless of the source of payment for services. Yet, 31 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, over 800,000 people with disabilities are currently on waiting lists for the Medicaid-funded services needed to make that possible, and many more are entering institutions against their wishes because they do not have qualified and trained direct care staff to support them in the setting of their choice. These waiting lists leave people with disabilities, aging adults and their families waiting years and even decades for services. The investments in the Build Back Better Agenda are crucial to reach this as yet unrealized goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

When older adults who want to age in place and people with disabilities who need support to work, live independently, and be a part of their communities are left waiting, the responsibility for care and support often falls on unpaid family caregivers, who also need financial assistance. The costs of this inadequate system fall disproportionately on people of color with limited income and wealth. The workforce and earnings losses related to unpaid family caregiving are significant and well-documented.

NAHC urges Congress to continue to include and prioritize the large investment in the infrastructure of Medicaid HCBS, and the workforce that provides them, as lawmakers negotiate any package moving forward.

NAHC to Congress: Big Investment in HCBS is Needed Now

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has joined a large group of likeminded organizations in urging leaders in both houses of Congress and both parties to ensure that Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) remain part of any package that moves forward. A large investment is essential for building a sustainable HCBS infrastructure…

EEOC Updates COVID-19 Technical Assistance to Cover Retaliation

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 technical assistance on Wednesday, November 17, to include more information about employer retaliation in pandemic-related employment situations.

The updates explain and clarify the rights of employees and job applicants who believe they suffered retaliation for protected activities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, or other employment discrimination laws. The technical assistance explains how these rights are balanced against employers’ needs to enforce COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“Retaliation is the most frequently alleged form of discrimination in the EEOC’s charges overall and has been at the top for too many years,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created new situations and additional challenges, but it is no excuse to retaliate against people for opposing employment discrimination. This updated technical assistance provides additional clarity on how our laws balance workers’ rights to speak up without fear of retaliation against employers’ responsibilities to create a healthy and safe work environment.”

Key updates include:

  • Job applicants and current and former employees are protected from retaliation by employers for asserting their rights under any of the EEOC-enforced anti-discrimination laws.
  • Protected activity can take many forms, including filing a charge of discrimination; complaining to a supervisor about coworker harassment; or requesting accommodation of a disability or a religious belief, practice, or observance, regardless of whether the request is granted or denied.
  • Additionally, the ADA prohibits not only retaliation for protected EEO activity, but also “interference” with an individual’s exercise of ADA rights.

This updated technical assistance also supports the EEOC’s participation in an interagency initiative, which will be launched today, to end retaliation against workers who exercise their protected labor and employment law rights. The other participants in the initiative are the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The initiative will include collaboration among these civil law enforcement agencies to protect workers on issues of unlawful retaliatory conduct, educate the public and engage with employers, business organizations, labor organizations and civil rights groups in the coming year.

The EEOC has updated its technical assistance on employment and COVID-19 approximately 20 times throughout the pandemic.

EEOC Updates COVID-19 Technical Assistance to Cover Retaliation

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 technical assistance on Wednesday, November 17, to include more information about employer retaliation in pandemic-related employment situations.

The updates explain and clarify the rights of employees and job applicants who believe they suffered retaliation for protected activities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, or other employment discrimination laws. The technical assistance explains how these rights are balanced against employers’ needs to enforce COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“Retaliation is the most frequently alleged form of discrimination in the EEOC’s charges overall and has been at the top for too many years,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created new situations and additional challenges, but it is no excuse to retaliate against people for opposing employment discrimination. This updated technical assistance provides additional clarity on how our laws balance workers’ rights to speak up without fear of retaliation against employers’ responsibilities to create a healthy and safe work environment.”

Key updates include:

  • Job applicants and current and former employees are protected from retaliation by employers for asserting their rights under any of the EEOC-enforced anti-discrimination laws.
  • Protected activity can take many forms, including filing a charge of discrimination; complaining to a supervisor about coworker harassment; or requesting accommodation of a disability or a religious belief, practice, or observance, regardless of whether the request is granted or denied.
  • Additionally, the ADA prohibits not only retaliation for protected EEO activity, but also “interference” with an individual’s exercise of ADA rights.

This updated technical assistance also supports the EEOC’s participation in an interagency initiative, which will be launched today, to end retaliation against workers who exercise their protected labor and employment law rights. The other participants in the initiative are the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The initiative will include collaboration among these civil law enforcement agencies to protect workers on issues of unlawful retaliatory conduct, educate the public and engage with employers, business organizations, labor organizations and civil rights groups in the coming year.

The EEOC has updated its technical assistance on employment and COVID-19 approximately 20 times throughout the pandemic.

EEOC Updates COVID-19 Technical Assistance to Cover Retaliation

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 technical assistance on Wednesday, November 17, to include more information about employer retaliation in pandemic-related employment situations. The updates explain and clarify the rights of employees and job applicants who believe they suffered retaliation for protected activities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII…

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