Nursing Home Staffing, Minimum Wage, The Solar Eclipse

Nursing Home Staffing, Minimum Wage, The Solar Eclipse

May 2024 Newsletter

Rana Law Group Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Minimum Staffing Requirements for Nursing Homes
  • State Minimum Wage Requirements
  • Just for Fun: The Great American Eclipse

Minimum Staffing Requirements for Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse cases are a specialized practice area and really heartbreaking to the families that experience harm.  Victims can be physically and emotionally harmed by either intentional malicious acts or, more often, simple neglect.  Either way, it is unacceptable for any healthcare facility to treat patients with anything less than the highest degree of care.  Abuse usually happens when the corporations running the facilities cut corners to increase profits.  This comes in the form of relaxed hiring requirements, low staffing levels and lack of proper training and equipment.  What the public may not realize is that this not only harms patients but also harms the staff that are trying their best to provide a high level of care.  After all, very few people in this field intend to harm patients, especially given the (often) low pay associated with a stressful and physically demanding job.  Our firm handles many workers’ compensation claims for employees at these facilities.  The range of injuries includes back strains from lifting patients alone or without proper equipment, to using broken equipment or lack of proper staffing levels.  When nursing homes companies choose to cut corners and put profits over people, everyone is at risk, including patients and staff.

This is why the new federal guidelines for minimum staffing levels are so critical.  Unions and patient advocates have worked tirelessly to push these reforms into law.  Several of the new mandates include 3.48 hours/resident per day of total staffing including RNs and nurse aids, an RN onsite 24/7 and 80% of Medicaid payments for home care now must go directly to salaries for workers.  The requirements will be introduced in phases and allow more time for rural communities to meet staffing levels.  We welcome these changes and hope the new mandates reduce the abuse and neglect the patients face while simultaneously reducing the number of employee injuries.  If that happens, then it means everyone is safer.

Minimum Wage Requirements

It can be easy to lose track of your state’s current minimum wage requirements since voters in many states recently approved incremental increases.  A breakdown of the 2024 rates for Missouri, Illinois and Kansas is shown below with some important notes to keep in mind.  This may also be helpful if you are thinking of enticing your teen into getting a summer job at the end of the month or if you own a business and are looking for help.  The current rates are much higher than Tarun’s first job as a cashier at Mr. Bulky Treats & Gifts where he started working for less than $6/hr.  His second job at St. Louis Bread Co. (now Panera) was a whopping $1 increase to $7/hr, which he remembers fondly as “a lot of money”.
^plus any amount necessary to bring the employee’s total compensation to the state minimum per hour.
*for the first 90 days of work. (Most summer jobs are only 90 days.)
Note: in some state ‘Youth’ rates apply until a worker turns 20.While most employers must pay their state’s legal rate, some businesses are exempt.  In Missouri, employers engaged in retail or service businesses whose annual gross income is less than $500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage rate.  In Illinois, companies with 4 employees or less are exempt. Because Kansas adopted the federal minimum wage as their standard, all employers must pay these rates.Until recently, ‘gig workers’ were classified as “independent contractors” and not protected under minimum wage laws.  The Department of Labor recently issued a notice re-classifying them as “employees”, giving them the all the legal protections that come with being an employee.  This includes minimum wage, overtime pay and other protections.  The reclassification went into effect on March 11th, 2024.  Unless companies find a new loophole, this should stop some of the ride share and food delivery companies from taking advantage of their workers.

More information can be found in the following links: Missouri, Illinois, Kansas or any other State.

Just for Fun: The Great American Eclipse

We hope everyone had the opportunity to experience the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8th.  If not, you will have to wait until August 23, 2044 for the next one happening on American soil (but certainly many opportunities exist in other parts of the world).  Everyone at Rana Law Group agrees it was amazing!  While we did not shut down the office, we were still able to go outside to watch the partial eclipse.  It was fun and unifying to witness everyone leave their office buildings, stand out in the parking lots and look up at the sun at the same time.
Sarah decided to take the day off and fight the horrendous traffic going south to see the total solar eclipse.  The bumper-to-bumper traffic was so bad on 55 that she JUST made it to the viewing area in time to see the show.

In the end, the pictures she took were well worth it!

Case Referrals  

From time to time, clients call and ask which type of cases we handle.  Our practice is built on referrals from satisfied clients.  We know that if we work hard and do a good job for our clients, they will tell their friends about us.  The best compliment from a former client is that client entrusting us with the potential case of their friend or family.  Our office specializes in the following cases:

  1. Personal Injury (auto collisions, trucking, motorcycle, slip and fall)
  2. Work Injuries
  3. Traffic tickets and DUI/DWI

If you know someone that meets these criteria, please have them call our office.  If someone does not quite fit the above criteria, please still have the prospective referral give us a call as we can usually help the person find the right attorney via a referral.

Share the Love – Reviews

Thank you very much to everyone who already left a review, we appreciate it!  If you have not left one and have some kind words, we would appreciate the time.
  1. For Google: simply click on the link.
  2. For Facebook: please “Like” and “Follow” the page and then click on “Reviews” on the left-hand side
  3. For Avvo: click on “reviews” and then “Review Tarun Rana”

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Rana Law Group, 655 Craig Road, Suite 318, St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone: 314-329-7690

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