Petitions Call for California to Stick with Plan to Pay Overtime Wages
Two unions are circulating petitions throughout the nation to urge California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to stay on course with his administration’s plan to pay overtime to home care workers who are employed in the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program.
California’s 2014-15 fiscal year budget includes an allocation of funds to pay the IHSS workers overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week.
However, on January 15 Brown reneged on that plan — one day after Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court in D.C. vacated the new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rule to extend home care workers minimum wage and overtime protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In a petition, the United Domestic Workers of America/American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3930 says:
Labor protections like overtime pay and a minimum wage should be a right — but now that the for-profit homecare industry has succeeded in temporarily halting these protections in federal court, IHSS workers are calling on Governor Brown to move forward as planned in California.
The union is also calling on organizations to sign a letter to Brown. “Unthinkably, as the state enjoys a multibillion-dollar budget surplus, caregivers are being forced to work without basic rights,” the letter says. (Organizations interested in signing the letter should contact Kristina Bas Hamilton.)
The Service Employees International Union is also circulating a petition for Brown. “Now, home care workers are calling on Governor Brown to do the right thing and move forward as planned in California,” it says.
— by Deane Beebe