Target: U.S. Congress
Goal: Guarantee that home health workers receive minimum wage.
Recently proposed legislation would prevent home care workers from receiving minimum wage or overtime pay. The bill would block a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor that would extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers. Home care workers and casual babysitters were excluded from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1974. At the time, the home care industry was in its infancy and primarily consisted of friends and neighbors performing elder sitting.
The home care industry has drastically changed in size and scope since 1974. Now, home care workers provide a variety of services, ranging from assistance with eating and dressing to monitoring vital signs. Many workers are employed by home care staffing agencies and provide much needed services for the disabled, chronically ill, and cognitively impaired. Currently, these workers can be paid less than minimum wage for the important work they perform. Due to the low wages they receive, approximately 40% of home care workers rely on Medicaid and food stamps to survive.
Improving wages for home care workers will improve care for the elderly and people with disabilities. The home care industry has some of the lowest wages in the service industry. As a result, there is a high rate of turnover and many job vacancies. Guaranteeing minimum wage and overtime pay for home care workers will lead to lower job turnover and better continuity of care.
By signing the petition below, you will help urge Congress to support extending minimum wage protection to home care workers.
Dear U.S. Congress,
Home care workers provide a vital service for people that are elderly, disabled, cognitively challenged, and chronically ill. However, they are not guaranteed minimum wage or overtime pay for their services. The U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule that would extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers. Unfortunately, the Companionship Exemption Protection Act would preempt the rule and continue to deny home care workers minimum wage.
Home care workers should no longer be exempt from minimum wage and overtime protections. When the Fair Labor Standards Act was updated in 1974, it excluded babysitters and those who provide companionship services to people with disabilities and the elderly. At that time, home care workers primarily provided companionship services. The industry has drastically changed since 1974 and home care workers now provide a variety of services, from eating and dressing assistance to monitoring vital signs. They deserve to be adequately paid for the services they perform.
I urge you to support extending minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers by opposing the Companionship Exemption Protection Act.
[Your Name Here]