CHICAGO -- Labor-backed Interfaith Worker Justice is mobilizing support for home health care workers, reminding supporters about the Mar. 15 deadline for comments on the Labor Department's proposed rules about their wages and conditions.
"The proposed changes will require home care agencies to pay their workers at least minimum wage and overtime. Home care workers provide companionship and care to those close to us. Now, these same workers need us on their side," said Kim Bobo, director of Chicago-based Interfaith Worker Justice. "This change is common sense and long overdue," she added.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling several years ago exempted many home health care workers from federal labor laws, including minimum wage, overtime, and the right to organize.
Workers hired by agencies are different, and can be covered, Bobo says.
"Every faith tradition teaches we are responsible to care for 'the least of these.' Home care workers provide care for our most vulnerable and elderly family members. Their work is difficult and important. They deserve to have their rights protected."
President Obama strongly supports the home health care rule changes. He announced the proposal at the White House last Dec. 15.