Home care workers support Minnesota’s seniors and people with disabilities to live independent lives. Currently, many seniors and people with disabilities who receive home care services are facing issues getting the care they need because home care workers are having their hours capped at 40 hours per week. President Obama changed the overtime rule in 2015 to fix the injustice of care workers, predominantly women and people of color, having been deliberately excluded from the basic legal protections around minimum wage and overtime created in the 1930s.
With the severe shortage of home care workers in the state, this has resulted in challenges for those needing care. Minnesota needs to provide funding and policies so that no seniors or people with disabilities have the hours capped of their home care worker who provides them care.
How to Fix It:
- Make certain Minnesota provides funding to get into compliance with new federal overtime rules protections so that workers hours aren’t capped at 40 hour per week any longer, which is currently causing disruptions for those who receive care.
Why this matters, from SEIU Healthcare MN member home care worker Marie Bounds:
We are very glad to see that Governor Dayton has recognized that this issue is important to thousands of families with seniors and people with disabilities across Minnesota, by adding funding for overtime pay in his supplemental budget. Recently I was told I can’t work more than 40 hours per week between my two clients, so I had to choose which client I was going to help, and which client I would have to cut back on care for. They both have extensive care needs and I’ve been their PCA for nearly 4 years. One client really needed the extra 7 hours, but I had to cut back being his PCA. It is a challenge for him to find someone who is reliable for just those few hours, because of the shortage of home care workers. Fixing this issue will help families all over Minnesota and is a step towards making our state a better place for all of us. We look forward to fighting to get this funding for the overtime pay we need and to which we’re now entitled under federal law, along with protections so that workers like me can’t have our hours capped at 40 hours per week anymore, so that no senior or person with disabilities struggles to get the care they deserve.