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Advocates Urge DOL to Follow Through with Home Care Worker Fair Pay Rule

May 29, 2014

Supporters of minimum-wage and overtime protections for home care workers, including PHI, are urging advocates to tell the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to avoid any further delay in extending those basic wage protections to the home care workforce.

“America’s home care workers have waited long enough for the basic labor protections provided to virtually all other American workers,” says a letter written by supporters.

Last September, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced that after decades of being excluded from federal regulations establishing a minimum-wage and time-and-a-half overtime pay, home care workers will finally be extended those rights through the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The rule change is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015.

However, the National Association of Medicaid Directors recently requested that Perez delay implementation of the rule change for another 18 months, citing concerns over “unforeseen issues [and] outstanding questions” pertaining to Medicaid.

The letter, meanwhile, argues that home care workers cannot wait any longer to begin receiving the basic wage protections that apply to most other American workers.

“After 40 years of their exemption from core labor protections and decades of stops and starts in ending this egregious exclusion, justice delayed has been justice too-long denied for the two-million-plus home care workers who will benefit from the rule,” it says.

A recent New York Times editorial expressed support for implementing the rule change on schedule, calling home care workers’ continued exclusion from basic wage protections an “indefensible policy.”

Anyone who supports fair pay for home care workers can contact Perez — by Facebook, Twitter, or email — and urge him to oppose any further delay.

— by Matthew Ozga

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