Thursday, October 1, 2020

Latinos to Benefit from President Obama’s New Rules for Home Healthcare Workers

Latino home health care workers could soon see fair wages as a result of new rules recently announced by President Obama requiring a minimum wage and overtime pay for workers in this industry.

Latinos make up an estimated 12% of the nearly 2 million home health care workers who stand to benefit from these new rules. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis described the wages some workers currently earn as “poverty wages,” as little as $35 a day.

“The nearly 2 million in-home care workers across the country should not have to wait a moment longer for a fair wage,” President Obama said in a statement. “They work hard and play by the rules and they should see that work and responsibility rewarded. Today’s action will ensure that these men and women get paid fairly for a service that a growing number of older Americans couldn’t live without.”

The rules, proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor, would apply to in-home healthcare workers who handle wound care, physical therapy assistance, and tube feedings. In 1974, considered more like “adult babysitters,” these workers were exempt from federal wage laws.

The rules are part of President Obama’s larger initiative, “We Can’t Wait,” a vehicle through which the administration may enact laws and regulations that do not require the approval of Congress.

It is estimated that it will take several months for the proposed rules to take effect in all 29 states which currently do not require a minimum wage or overtime pay.

The number of seniors who will need the aid of a home healthcare worker – currently six million by Labor Department estimates – is expected to double by 2030.

“Caregivers go to work in millions of American homes every day [helping] the aging and people with disabilities to live at home and in their communities,” said Solis. “They make it possible for millions of families to go to work and know that their loved ones are safe and cared for.”

Huffington Post