As U.S. Court of Appeals Hears Arguments in Federal Lawsuit, Workers, Home Care Recipients, and Advocates to Call for Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections for Home Care Workforce
Granting basic labor protections is the first necessary step to strengthen this increasingly critical workforce
Washington, DC — A diverse group of stakeholders will gather for a press conference on May 7, 2015 from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM ET in front of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse at 333 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC to argue for federal minimum wage and overtime protections to be extended to our nation's two million home care workers, reversing decades of exclusion from these basic labor protections.
The press conference coincides with oral arguments being made at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the case Home Care Association, et al. v. Weil, et al., a lawsuit brought by for-profit home care associations against a new Department of Labor rule that would grant home care workers the right to minimum wage and overtime protections.
Workers, home care consumers, family caregivers, and advocates will highlight why granting minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers is not only the right thing to do, it is also essential if we're to meet the needs of our rapidly aging population as well as people with disabilities who rely on aides to live independently at home.
DATE: May 7, 2015
TIME: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM ET
WHERE: E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse (in the front), 333 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001
WHO: Organizers include: PHI, Caring Across Generations, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), National Employment Law Project (NELP), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
- Caitlin Connolly, National Employment Law Project Home Care Fair Pay Campaign Coordinator
- D'Rosa Davis, home care worker
- Robert Espinoza, PHI Vice President of Policy
- Sarita Gupta, Caring Across Generations co-director and the director of Jobs with Justice
- Marla Lahat, Home Care Partners Executive Director
- Karen Marshall, Kadamba Tree Foundation Founder and family caregiver
- Ariela Migdal, American Civil Liberties Union Senior Staff Attorney
- Paula Wilson, home care worker
- Home Care consumer, TBD
All speakers will be at the event and available for comment on the phone after 12:30 PM.
WHAT: Press conference in support of new DOL home care rule
Please note: If you would like to hear oral arguments in Home Care Association, et al. v. Weil, et al. (Case number 15-5018), they are scheduled for May 7 at 9:30 AM in USCA Courtroom 31. All attendees should be in the courtroom 20 minutes prior.
BACKGROUND ON THE LAWSUIT: On January 14, 2015, in a lawsuit brought by home care industry groups, a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, DC, struck down the United States Department of Labor's (US DOL) revised definition of exempt "companionship services." This ruling followed one in late December 2014 invalidating US DOL's decision to exclude third-party employers from the exemption. The US DOL's efforts were meant to finally bring home care workers under basic federal labor protections.
US DOL has appealed the judge's ruling and oral arguments are being heard on May 7, 2015. The DC Circuit could rule on the appeal shortly after the argument.
Home care is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country, and is projected to add one million new jobs over the next decade. Yet despite the increasing demand and critical services these healthcare professionals provide, they earn poverty wages. Half of all home care workers rely on public assistance to support their families, and more than half leave their jobs every year due to the poor working conditions.
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PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute) works to transform eldercare and disability services. We foster dignity, respect, and independence — for all who receive care, and all who provide it. The nation's leading authority on the direct-care workforce, PHI promotes quality direct-care jobs as the foundation for quality care (www.PHInational.org).
Deane Beebe, PHI, email@example.com, 646-285-1039
Caitlin Connolly, NELP, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-683-4814