Target: U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
Goal: Urge the U.S. Department of Labor to push through protections and a minimum wage for home care workers
The US Department of Labor is considering putting a hold on new protections for home care workers, including guaranteed overtime and a basic minimum wage. Home care workers, who are predominantly women and people of color, have long worked without the same rights afforded to those in other lines of work. They often work for less than the federal minimum wage and are forced to work overtime without getting time-and-a-half pay.
Home care workers tend to some of our most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly and people with disabilities. They work hard to ensure that these people are properly fed, clothed, and given necessary medical attention. It’s a demanding job that often requires long hours and overnight care. However, they’re often exploited under a special exemption that President Obama promised would be removed as part of his efforts to uphold workers’ rights and fight poverty. Delaying the implementation of new protections for these dedicated and incredibly important workers means that they will continue to be treated unfairly and denied the wages they deserve. It’s a rank injustice that contributes to the poverty that disproportionately affects women – especially women of color.
By signing this petition, you’ll demand that President Obama and the Department of Labor fulfill their promise to grant the most basic of worker rights to people who should have had them in the first place. If anyone deserves decent pay and basic rights, it’s the people who care for those of us in need.
Dear Secretary Perez,
In 2011, President Obama stood with home care workers and vowed to create new rules that would grant them basic worker protections like a minimum wage and guaranteed overtime pay. Three years later, these incredibly important individuals still suffer from exploitation caused by unfair exemptions in our labor laws.
As you know, home care is one of the fastest-growing yet lowest-paying jobs in the country. With a growing elderly population, it’s essential that we create incentives for quality workers instead of leaving this important work to only the most desperate workers. Delaying the implementation of the most basic of rights for home care workers contributes to the poverty that creates inequality, income disparity, and injustice for women and people of color.
I urge you to keep your promise by quickly instating the new rules that will give home care workers the basic rights other workers already have. Please don’t delay removing unjust exemptions that cause some of our most important laborers to suffer needlessly in exploitation and poverty. They deserve our help, not our apathy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nanoxyde via Wikimedia Commons