Stand Up For Caregivers!Posted March 16th, 2013 by Ruth Martin
Let me tell you about Myrla. Myrla is a professional homecare worker. Her work allows her clients — seniors and people with disabilities — to live with dignity at home. Her hours are long and hard: Often Myrla works over 50 hours a week for less than minimum wage. She struggles to provide for her family on her low wages.
Myrla is not alone: More than a million women like Myrla, who work as professional homecare workers, work long hours trying to support their families without the right to minimum wage or overtime pay.
Why? Because homecare workers are excluded from basic labor protections like guaranteed overtime and minimum wage pay.
It’s time for a change! Urge President Obama and the US Department of Labor to revise regulations to guarantee minimum wage and overtime protections for homecare workers nationwide! Sign our open letter and we’ll hand deliver your signature to the very top!
What’s the scoop?
Excluding homecare workers from basic labor protections is a holdover from the 1930s when women’s work wasn’t considered “real work”. Decades later, in the 1970′s, Congress updated the minimum wage regulations, but they again refused to include homecare workers like Myrla in basic labor laws. Today, in 2013, the workers who make it possible for millions of Americans to live with dignity at home are still denied the right to minimum wage and overtime pay.
As moms, we understand how important caregiving is. There isn’t a mom out there who doesn’t understand that care giving is real work, but our country’s outdated labor laws don’t treat professional caregiving that way.
As consumers we also understand the value of fair pay and overtime protections:
- Guaranteeing minimum wage and overtime pay to home care workers results in better quality care, which is good for consumers
- Better pay reduces turnover in the industry – as care workers stay on the job longer, they get more experience and are better able to support their clients
Updated regulations will save us all money: Better pay reduces care workers reliance on public benefits like food stamps.
It’s not at all surprising that in states where minimum wage and over time protections for homecare workers have been enacted, home care worker AND consumers think the changes have been good for workers and consumers.
Its time for our outdated laws to catch up with the times and for hardworking moms like Myrla to earn minimum wage and overtime pay for working to care for the people we value most in our communities.
Sign our open letter to the President and Department of Labor urging that home care workers be included in minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.
*And be sure to share this blogpost with your friends and family so they can take action too!
Together we’re a powerful force for women and families.