Respect for Home Care Workers
A rule proposed last December by President Obama and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) would extend basic labor protections to home care workers.
Since 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act has guaranteed American workers minimum wage and overtime pay. For all those years, home care workers have been exempted from these basic protections, considered mere “companions."
In 2007, a home care worker named Evelyn Coke (pictured) challenged the companionship exemption in court. Coke had provided essential care to the elderly for years for just $7 an hour, sometimes working as many as three consecutive 24-hour periods with no overtime pay. Her case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that it was up to Congress or DOL, not the courts, to change the rule.
In publishing the proposed rule, DOL has taken a critical step to finally end this injustice. DCA is grateful to DOL, to our hardworking DCA Champions and allies who advocated for the rule, and to the thousands of people who participated in the public comment period. More than 26,000 people commented on the rule, and the vast majority--about 80 percent--were in favor of it. Please join us now in reminding the Obama Administration of their commitment to this issue and urging them to enact the rule without further delay.
Resources and Analysis
News and Analysis
Read testimonials from home care workers, employers, and consumers and their families about why we all need the rule.
Advocates speak out on the one year anniversary of the announcement:
The New York Times on why the President must keep his promise to home care workers
DCA's letter to DOL in favor of the rule
An NPR report on the fight for fair wages for home care workers
News about a National Day of Action DCA organized in support of the rule on September 21, 2012, in partnership with NDWA and Bend the Arc: A Partnership for Jewish JusticeTestimony from home care workers and allies who participated in the National Day of Action
Caring Across Generations' Ai-jen Poo: Give better pay to home care workers
Direct care worker and DCA member Renee Tillman on why we need the rule
Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein on its history and importance
Home care agency owner and DCA board member Judy Clinco speaks out for the rule
NELP's Catherine Ruckelhaus: why we must honor Evelyn Coke's legacy
Many states already guarantee home care workers minimum wage and/or overtime pay. Learn which states do what
A NELP fact sheet explaining the rule
On December 15, 2011, the President promised to grant home care workers minimum wage and overtime protection. More than a year later, we're still waiting. Sign our petition and tell the Obama Administration it's time to deliver on its promise.
Home Care Workers Speak Out
More from the DCA about the companionship exemption