Linda Sánchez Stands Up For Home Care Workers (June 24 2011)
Washington, DC – In continuing her leadership role standing up for working families, Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-39) is announcing legislation that would ensure home care workers get the wage protections they deserve. Congresswoman Sánchez yesterday introduced the Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act (H.R. 2341) which protects home care workers and improves direct care services for seniors and people with disabilities.
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of direct care workers,” said Congresswoman Sánchez. “They provide essential care and daily living services to more than 13 million elderly and disabled Americans. They care for our parents and grandparents, but we don’t guarantee home care workers the minimum wage. It is my hope that this bill corrects this injustice and helps improve the direction of direct care services.”
The Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act would ensure that home care workers receive the federal minimum wage and overtime protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Additionally, H.R. 2341 would improve federal and state data collection and oversight regarding the direct care workforce. The Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act also establishes grant programs to help states improve direct care worker data collection, recruitment, retention, and training.
“The Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act will finally secure economic justice for home care workers, ensuring that quality care is available to the elderly and disabled citizens who depend on them,” said Leonila Vega, Executive Director of Direct Care Alliance. “The Direct Care Alliance fully supports this legislation and Congresswoman Sanchez’s efforts in Congress to stabilize America’s long-term care workforce.”
“Homecare workers around this country are caring for older Americans and people with disabilities who want to live with dignity,” said L. Toni Lewis, MD, Chair of SEIU Healthcare. “Yet these same workers are being deprived of a similar dignity that comes with a good job that can feed and provide for a family. The Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act is a tremendous step forward in delivering minimum wage and overtime protections.”
The Direct Care Workforce Empowerment Act is supported by more than fifty (50) organizations, including the Direct Care Alliance, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), and the National Employment Law Project (NELP).