Still up for debate, the Connecticut budget is certainly not pleasing many people in every aspect. In one component, independent caregivers and those supporting them have pushed for broader language within the budget that could make it more difficult for agencies to operate in the state.
A coalition of home care agencies have been pressing Governor Lamont to veto the part of the state budget that could impact the industry in a negative way, as they stipulate. The issue involves non-compete clauses and, more importantly, the potential ability for home care aides working for agencies to lure clients away from those agencies into private care or to work with other providers.
It was noted in the Associated Press news article (published by Chon), Homecare agencies ask governor to veto part of budget bill, written by Susan Haigh:
“A coalition of homecare agencies is urging Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont to veto part of the new state budget bill, arguing it will harm both the industry and clients.
The advocates said Wednesday they were surprised to see broad language appear in the bill that bars homemaker, companion or home health services agencies from enforcing non-compete agreements. They argued it would ultimately ban the more narrow “non-solicitation clauses” in employee contracts. Such clauses prevent a worker from soliciting an agency’s clients to become a private client or to follow them to another agency for limited amounts of time.”
Non–compete clauses can, in some respects, be detrimental to lower wage workers, especially as they pursue higher paid opportunities, but without some provision of protection for agencies and other organizations, it could lead to a Wild West atmosphere that completely undermines the industry in Connecticut.
A home care aide working for an agency should certainly have an opportunity to pursue a higher paying job, if that opportunity does exist. However, a non–compete clause can make it illegal for them to do so unless they stop working within the sector for a given length of time. At the same time, though, having language that is too broad within the budget will likely make it possible for caregivers to not only change employers at will, but also potentially lure clients of those agencies away and into private care.
This could dramatically alter the layout and atmosphere of the home care industry throughout Connecticut. If the language is left as broad as it is in the budget, some agencies may find it impossible to compete and continue providing services elderly and disabled residents required.
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