Thursday, February 21, 2008
Steve Hitov of HealthLaw.Org writes:
An interesting Federal Trade Commission response to an Ohio effort to allow independent home health workers to bargain collectively when the services they provide are reimbursed by Medicaid. Here the FTC treats each worker as a "small business" for purposes of its
evaluation, which of course dictates the outcome (and implicitly rejects the entire concept of unionization, at least outside of a strict employment context). So, as things now stand with this administration, and the judges it has installed on the Supreme Court, home health workers can be forced to work long hours without overtime, and states cannot even voluntarily allow them to act cooperatively to improve their lot. This certainly bodes ill for home health workers,
and perhaps even more so for the vulnerable people that they serve.
BNA has more:
An Ohio executive order, designed to confer a labor exemption for independent home care providers, is likely to result in "certain anticompetitive conduct that is inconsistent with federal antitrust law and policy," according to the Federal Trade Commission's staff, which warned that such conduct could work to the detriment of Ohio home health care consumers.
The Feb. 14 letter from the FTC's Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition, and Bureau of Economics responded to a request by Ohio State Sen. William J. Seitz (R) regarding Ohio Executive Order 2007--23S, issued by Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in July 2007.
Can home health aid workers get a break sometime, somewhere? Paging Peggie Smith, there is more work to be done now to educate the good folks at the FTC who seem not to understand that antitrust issues have largely been dead in the labor law environment since Apex Hosiery.
Hat Tip: "Sweet" Joe Slater