Unconscionable. Just unconscionable.
In another devastating assault on women, working women in particular, the Supreme Court ruled last week that home health care workers - who are paid to work as caregivers - are not entitled to be paid minimum wage, earn overtime pay, and other basic job benefits. This horrifying decision leaves millions of hard-working women, who comprise 90% of the paid caregiver workforce, without the right to the wages and benefits guaranteed by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
What a travesty for the workers who spend long and often grueling hours caring for our injured, disabled, sick and elderly. The Fair Labor Standards Act was first introduced in 1938, and was amended in 1974 to include domestic workers from agencies as well as individual workers. However, the law makes an exemption for babysitters and workers providing "companionship services," and the ensuing regulations, wrongly many believe, interpreted this to include care for elderly and infirm patients.
The Court's ruling excludes all workers providing in-home care for sick, elderly or disabled people, even if they are employed by home care agencies and businesses. The decision allows these companies to pay their employees appallingly low wages and give them no benefits while they make a profit.
"These businesses should be held to the same labor standards, however modest, with which every other business is required to comply," said NOW President Kim Gandy.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
The Supreme Court and home health workers
Marilyn Bedford sent me an article called "Supreme Court Takes Another Swing at Women's Rights and Decks Home Health Care Workers". It is very upsetting: