April 24, 2024

“The final rule published by the Department of Labor this week is yet another unfunded mandate on IDD service providers in Texas that are already facing immense challenges in providing quality care to the most vulnerable Texans. The new rule requires employers to expand the class of employees eligible for overtime twice in the next eight months, first on July 1, 2024, and again on January 1, 2025. While this rule is well-intended, it creates new costs for employers and hits fixed-funded employers, like IDD providers, particularly hard because they cannot raise the price of their services to offset the new costs. As a result, IDD providers will be forced to take mitigation steps—like reducing staff positions, restricting overtime hours, or converting salaried employees to hourly roles—that ultimately impact the quality of services by further limiting the dollars available for hourly front-line staff.

“This rule only exacerbates the already untenable financial situation facing IDD providers in Texas, underscoring why it is essential for the Texas Legislature to appropriate emergency funds to raise the average hourly wage for community-based direct support professionals to ensure providers can deliver the highest quality care to the Texans who need it most. We hope that our legislative leaders will act now to mitigate the impact of this full-blown crisis that threatens to compromise care for Texans with IDD.”