Care workers are demanding answers from the Cuomo administration about why the state’s Adult Care Workers Act doesn’t have more protections for them and why they weren’t notified about the case of a worker who died last week.
In the wake of the death of a man in New York City who was placed in the care of a caregiver who died of heat exhaustion, Cuomo’s administration has been trying to tamp down on the scandal.
But on Monday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told the Associated Press that Cuomo has the power to revoke workers’ licenses.
The agency that oversees workers’ services is the Office of the Governor, and Cuomo has said the agency has the authority to revoke the workers’ rights.
But Schneiderman’s office said Cuomo has no power to do that and has said workers’ lives are at risk if they don’t comply.
Cuomo’s office has been accused of using the state-mandated regulations to silence workers who were vocal about the lack of protections for adult care workers.
The Cuomo administration also said workers who are placed in care by their employer or care provider aren’t entitled to the protections under the state law.
The governor’s office pointed to a section of the state Act that gives workers rights to “a full and fair opportunity to be heard.”
“A caregiver’s decision to remain in care with her caregiver is not a decision to be treated as an employee or a citizen, but as a fundamental right that every worker in the state has a right to,” a Cuomo spokeswoman said.
Schneiderman told AP that he doesn’t know whether the state will issue a full revocation.
He said he hopes Cuomo will issue the final revocation and is also hopeful that the state attorney general will investigate the case.
But the nursing home worker in New Jersey whose death was discovered Monday was not allowed to file a complaint with the state.
She was placed with a care provider who had a criminal record and who allegedly assaulted her and her son, according to New Jersey state records.
The Associated Press’ Julie Tate contributed to this report.