FTC’s New Rule on Non-Competes and Colorado’s Groundbreaking Legislation for Caregivers

Colorado is promoting transparency and flexibility in the caregiving workforce by granting caregivers control over their credentials, ultimately improving workforce stability. Other States are sure to follow this path.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has introduced a transformative rule that may redefine employment practices across multiple industries, including assisted living. The new regulation reconfigures how non-compete clauses function in employment agreements. For a comprehensive overview, the FTC has provided a Fact Sheet.

Simultaneously, Colorado has enacted pioneering legislation that allows caregivers to own and access their training certificates. This progressive law aims to empower caregivers and healthcare providers throughout the state and could offer a template for other states to consider. Let’s analyze how this legislation could reshape the caregiving workforce and bolster the assisted living industry.

Reducing Turnover Through Empowerment

High turnover has been a challenge for the assisted living and personal care industry, where caregiver turnover rates have reached up to 50%. Similar trends are seen in other roles across the sector. Unfortunately, little effort has been made to survey these workers to understand the root causes of their dissatisfaction. However, one contributing factor is employers creating barriers that limit caregivers’ freedom of movement. The Federal Trade Commission has now removed one such barrier: the misuse of noncompete agreements. Another barrier involves withholding training certificates from former employees, which creates bureaucratic hurdles that can prevent them from switching jobs, often requiring them to retake training or miss out on new opportunities.

Colorado’s new legislation addresses this issue directly by granting caregivers ownership of their certificates, enabling them to seamlessly transition between roles. Hopefully, this will provide some relief among caregivers and reduce turnover rates by eliminating what were clearly abusive practices.

Why is this Good for Small-Scale Assisted Living Facilities

The legislation helps residential assisted living facilities. While they are a good business model, they are highly sensitive to staffing issues, and rely heavily on staff loyalty for continuity of care. High turnover can be devastating, both financially and in terms of patient care. By allowing caregivers to retain their training credentials, smaller facilities will have access to a larger pool of trained, mobile staff to fill critical gaps, reducing the costs associated with repetitive training.

Blueprint for Other States

By granting caregivers control over their credentials, Colorado is promoting transparency and flexibility in the caregiving workforce, ultimately improving workforce stability. We hope other states follow that path. Caregivers are important, but we should protect and foster their willingness to help. This is a small but important legislative step to protect that willingness.

Look for additional blog posts on topics of interest to Assisted Living, Group Homes, and Behavioral Health operators. We welcome topic suggestions! Write to [email protected] if you are curious to learn more about a certain topic impacting assisted living or other group housing concerns.

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