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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Home Care Workers Win Wage and Overtime Protection

Improving workers' compensation benefits begins with improving wages.Today's post was shared by votersinjuredatwork and comes from

Nearly 2 million home care workers—the vast majority of whom are women—take care of the elderly and people with disabilities, often working 12-hour days and 60 to 70 hours a week. Now, for the first time since 1975, most of these workers will have the wage and overtime protection of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) under a new rule issued today by the Obama administration’s Department of Labor.  

Since they were exempted from the FLSA nearly four decades ago, home care workers seldom have been paid overtime and their net income is often less than the minimum wage, considering time spent in travel between the homes where they work in a single day and its cost. Unlike workers covered by federal labor laws, they have not been paid for all the hours they are on the clock.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the new rule:
"...finally recognizes the value of the work done by hundreds of thousands of people who take care of our aging parents, as well as our sisters, brothers and children with disabilities….Today’s action will not only benefit the largely female, minority and low-wage workers who provide these essential services, it will help to ensure an adequate supply of home care workers as demand grows, reduce turnover and improve quality, permitting more Americans who wish to stay in their own homes as they grow old or experience disability to do so.        
Secretary of Labor Thomas...
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