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Bonuses for Frontline Workers Included in New York State Budget

Bonuses for Frontline Workers Included in New York State Budget

New York State Executive Budget legislation has allocated $1.2 billion for bonuses for certain frontline healthcare workers for the Fiscal Year 2023. The rationale behind the funding is to achieve the goal of recruiting, retaining, and rewarding physical and mental healthcare professionals. 

The State Commissioner of Health in consultation with the State Commissioner of Labor and Medicaid Inspector General will develop the logistical procedures around how payment of claims will be facilitated. The amount of the bonus for frontline workers will depend on the number of hours worked up to a total of $3,000 per qualified worker.

 

Eligibility Requirements and Amounts

Employers will be required to pay bonuses based on hours worked by a covered worker during the specified vesting periods which will be set by the Commissioner of Health. The vesting periods will be up to two six-month periods per covered employer.

These periods are between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2024. Employees will be eligible for a bonus if they are continuously employed by the same employer during these six-month periods. This time includes any sick, vacation, or FMLA time. This time will be part of the calculation of the average number of hours worked per week during the vesting period. 

Bonus payments will not exceed $3,000 per covered worker and will be in the following amounts. All hours listed are throughout the same vesting period:

 

  • Employees averaging at least 20 but less than 30 hours per week would receive $500 for that vesting period.
  • Employees averaging at least 30 hours but less than 35 hours per week would receive $1,000 for the vesting period.
  • Employees averaging at least 35 hours per week would receive $1,500 for the vesting period.

 

Exempt employees would receive $1,500 for the vesting period. Exempt employees do not have a specific minimum number of hours required to qualify for the bonus.

 

Employer Requirements

The legislation delineates which employers are required to provide this bonus to qualified employees. 

Employers required to adhere to this legislation are defined as:

  • Providers with at least one employee
  • Providers that bill for services under the state Medicaid program OR a home or community-based services waiver, OR have a provider agreement to bill services through a managed care organization, long-term care plan, certain educational institutions, and other funded programs.
  • Providers that are specified facilities, pharmacies, and school-based health centers.

It is the responsibility of the employer to determine an employee’s eligibility as well as to track the number of hours worked by qualifying employees during the vesting period. These records will then need to be kept for at least six years.

 

For more up-to-date information like this about legislation that affects NYS employers and employees, check out the Complete Payroll Blog

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