Political Odds & Ends, Jan. 5, 2022

OddsEnds

Kim Releases Non-Profit War on Workers Report

Assemblymember Ron Kim (Photo by Yuhline, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Assemblymember Ron Kim

Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Queens) yesterday released his much anticipated investigative report on the seven-year-long legal battle between the non-profit home care provider, Chinese-American Planning Council Home Attendant Program, Inc. (CPC-HAP, or CPC) and its low-wage home care workers. 

The report, titled “The Nonprofit War on Workers, Part 1” was conducted by David A. Lee, Legislative Director for the Assemblyman, and examined 327 unique documents in two court cases, Chan et al. v. Chinese-American Planning Council Home Attendant Program, Inc. and Chu et al. v. Chinese-American Planning Council Home Attendant Program, Inc, collectively spanning 2,891 pages of legal material. 

The report demonstrates how CPC, through its legal representation, Hogan Lovells, the 7th largest global corporate law firm in the world by revenue, intensified its legal attacks on worker protection by using federal preemption to dismiss the workers’ claims brought under the state’s Home Care Worker Wage Parity Act. 

Home care industry employers will now watch on to see if CPC is successful in arguing that home care work does not even deserve minimum wage, which will affect over 80,000 home care employees. 

“Today’s release tells a story of a powerful nonprofit with huge amounts of resources and privilege used to crush the less powerful. CPC has brought these workers to the brink by dragging them through a soul-crushing legal battle over unpaid wages. It is time to come to the table and make these workers whole,” said Kim.

“It is worth noting that the mega nonprofit charity model relies on those who lack power to rely on those with power — that is not “solidarity.” It is a dressed up altruism designed to hide behind the most ferocious campaign against workers. I want to thank the Flushing Workers Center for their tireless campaign and I look forward to working with them in the future to fight for the rights of more workers in the home care industry,” he added.

Malliotakis Call for Transparency Following NYS Therapeutic Allocations Increase

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said yesterday she was pleased that President Biden increased the supply and distribution of COVID-19 therapeutic monoclonal antibody to New York State treatments, but also slammed the state’s new guidelines that access to treatments will be prioritized by race.

For the two-week period spanning December 13-December 26, 2021, New York State received only 18,516 units of monoclonal antibody treatments out of the 255,002 units that were distributed nationally. Following Malliotakis’ letter to President Biden, New York State has received 43,198 doses since December 27, 2021, more than twice the amount it was receiving on a weekly basis previously.

“I’m pleased to see the federal government increase New York State’s weekly allocation of monoclonal antibodies by thousands of units, providing us with the most units nationwide for two weeks in a row,” Malliotakis said. “We are now two years and multiple variants into this pandemic. It is clear that COVID 19 is going to remain among us in one form or another, I continue to urge the administration to expand its arsenal against COVID-19 by upping the supply and distribution of therapeutic treatments that could both save lives and get us back to normalcy.”

But Malliotakis also called on New York Governor Kathy Hochul to be fully transparent about where exactly COVID-19 therapeutic treatments are being distributed to ensure equitable distribution across all facilities that have patients in need.

“I was deeply disturbed to see New York City and State change guidelines to a race-based approach when deciding how to distribute and whom to administer these life-saving treatments. This policy is simply wrong and should be reversed so an individual’s medical condition is a priority regardless of race,” said Malliotakis.

DAs Bragg, Gonzalez Join Call for Parole Justice

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg
Attorney Eric Gonzalez
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez yesterday joined a number of state lawmakers and advocates urging swift action to pass the Elder Parole and Fair & Timely Parole bills. 

Specifically, the DAs, lawmakers and advocates are calling on the passage of two pieces of Legislation:

Elder Parole (S.15A/A.3475A) would allow the State Board of Parole to conduct an evaluation for potential parole release to incarcerated older people who have already served 15 or more years, including some of the state’s oldest and sickest incarcerated people. 

Fair and Timely Parole (S.7514/A.4231A) would provide more meaningful parole reviews for incarcerated people who are already parole eligible. 

“I am proud to stand with advocates in support of these bills. These are not only common sense bills but they are also driven by data and sound public policy. This is important to the County of Manhattan and to me, personally. And this is a racial justice issue when we look at who is incarcerated and the Parole Board outcomes,” said Bragg.

“Every incarcerated person deserves a parole system that is meaningful, compassionate, and includes not only punishment but also the possibility of redemption. Our families and communities, our entire society, deserve it as well. The Fair and Timely Parole and Elder Parole bills are consistent with my view that in most cases, parole should be granted at the first eligibility except under extraordinary circumstances, and that people should not be defined forever by the worst thing they ever did,” said Gonzalez.

AG James Issues Warnings to Stop Misrepresenting Turnaround Times for COVID-19 Test Results

Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James yesterday issued two warning letters to two companies facilitating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing — EZ Test NY (a Brooklyn-based collection center) and Keep Health Safe (a Fort Lee, New Jersey-based collection center) — for not meeting promised turnaround times for test results. 

Both companies have testing sites throughout New York City where they are advertising the delivery of results within 24 hours (EZ Test NY) or 48 to 72 hours (Keep Health Safe), yet both companies have made customers wait in excess of seven days for results, with some complaints to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) detailing wait times as long as 11 days. 

The two letters notify both companies that New York law prohibits false advertising and instructs the companies to immediately update their websites and any signage at test sites to accurately reflect how long individuals can expect to wait before receiving COVID-19 test results.

“Across the city, labs and collection centers continue to make false promises about turnaround times for COVID-19 test results when there is no way for them to actually fulfill those promises,” said James. “Both EZ Test NY and Keep Health Safe must immediately stop their false advertising and give New Yorkers realistic turnaround times for COVID-19 test results. Waiting more than 11 days when results were promised in 24 hours is completely unacceptable.”

In addition to warning EZ Test NY and Keep Health Safe to update their websites and signage and to instruct their employees to provide accurate information concerning turnaround times, the letters issued requested that both companies contact all of their customers who are currently awaiting COVID-19 test results to let them know when they can realistically expect to receive those results.

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