I didn’t realize that more than a million professional care givers in the United States — the vast majority of whom are women — are excluded from basic labor protections like guaranteed overtime and minimum wage pay


home care workerDid you know that over a million homecare workers nationwide are excluded fromminimum wage and overtime protections? It’s time for that to change!
Sign our letter to President Obama and the Department of Labor urging that homecare workers be included in overtime and minimum wage protections.

Hi Kevin,

I didn’t realize that more than a million professional care givers in the United States — the vast majority of whom are women — are excluded from basic labor protections like guaranteed overtime and minimum wage pay. 

The good news is that we can change this by shining a spotlight on this problem — and by urging President Obama and the U.S. Department of Labor to revise regulations to ensure that homecare workers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay.

Join us! Add your name to our letter and I’ll deliver it to leaders at the White House and the Department of Labor. 

http://action.momsrising.org/go/2810?t=5&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8

You can read the email below for more information about the importance of guaranteeing homecare workers basic labor protections. 

Together we’re a powerful voice for women and families.

-Ruth

========= Original Message =========

Dear Kevin,

Let me tell you about Myrla.  Myrla is a professional homecare worker. Her work allows her clients — seniors and people with disabilities — to live with dignity at home.  Her hours are long and hard: Often Myrla works over 50 hours a week for less than minimum wage. She struggles to provide for her family on her low wages.

Myrla is not alone: More than a million women like Myrla, who work as professional homecare workers, work long hours trying to support their families without the right to minimum wage or overtime pay. [1]

Why? Because homecare workers are excluded from basic labor protections like guaranteed overtime and minimum wage pay.  

It’s time for a change! Urge President Obama and the U.S. Department of Labor to revise regulations to guarantee minimum wage and overtime protections for homecare workers nationwide! Sign our open letter and we’ll hand deliver your signature to the very top! 

http://action.momsrising.org/go/2810?t=7&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8

What’s the scoop?

Excluding homecare workers from basic labor protections is a holdover from the 1930s when women’s work wasn’t considered “real work”.  Decades later, in the 1970’s, Congress updated the minimum wage regulations, but they again refused to include homecare workers like Myrla in basic labor laws. Today, in 2013, the workers who make it possible for millions of Americans to live with dignity at home are still denied the right to minimum wage and overtime pay. 

As moms, we understand how important caregiving is.  There isn’t a mom out there who doesn’t understand that care giving is real work, but our country’s outdated labor laws don’t treat professional caregiving that way. 

As consumers we also understand the value of fair pay and overtime protections:

  • Guaranteeing minimum wage and overtime pay to home care workers results in better quality care, which is good for consumers [2]
  • Better pay reduces turnover in the industry – as care workers stay on the job longer, they get more experience and are better able to support their clients [3]

Updated regulations will save us all money: Better pay reduces care workers reliance on public benefits like food stamps. [4]

It’s not at all surprising that in states where minimum wage and over time protections for homecare workers have been enacted, home care worker AND consumers think the changes have been good for workers and consumers. [5]

Its time for our outdated laws to catch up with the times and for hardworking moms like Myrla to earn minimum wage and overtime pay for working to care for the people we value most in our communities. 

Sign our open letter to the President and Department of Labor urging that home care workers be included in minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. 

http://action.momsrising.org/go/2810?t=9&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8

 *And be sure to forward this email on to your friends and family so they can take action too!

Together we’re a powerful force for women and families.

 -Ruth, Kristin and the whole MomsRising.org team 

 

[1]Karen Kulp, Be Fair to Home Care Workers, Philly.com http://action.momsrising.org/go/2801?t=11&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8

[2] Dohn Hoyle and RoAnne Chaney, It Worked in Michigan: Raise wages for Homecare Workers Across the Nation Detroit Free Press, http://action.momsrising.org/go/2802?t=13&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8;  PHI National, PHI National Policy Agenda: Wages and Benefitshttp://action.momsrising.org/go/2803?t=15&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8

[3] PHI National, PHI National Policy Agenda: Wages and Benefitshttp://action.momsrising.org/go/2803?t=17&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8 increase in wages lead to increases in retention; Candace Howes, University of California Berkeley Labor Center, 2004 http://action.momsrising.org/go/2804?t=19&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8 shows that an increase in wages increases retention.  

[4] PHI National, Fixing the Companionship Exemption Will Not Make Care too Expensive,   http://action.momsrising.org/go/2805?t=21&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8 currently more than 40% of home care worker rely on public assistance.  Some studies show the number as high as 55% http://action.momsrising.org/go/2801?t=23&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8

[5] Dohn Hoyle and RoAnne Chaney, It Worked in Michigan: Raise wages for Homecare Workers Across the Nation Detroit Free Press, http://action.momsrising.org/go/2802?t=25&akid=4080.90096.28tmk8

 

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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