10. Tell Congress to End the Fair Labor Standards Exemption For Home Care Workers

lclaaLCLAA 17TH NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP CONVENTION
ORLANDO, FL
AUGUST 4-8, 2008


RESOLUTION:

10.    Tell Congress to End the Fair Labor Standards  Exemption For Home Care Workers


WHEREAS; Home care workers across the nation are considered second-class citizens because they are not eligible for over time pay due to the 1938 Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) which excluded domestic workers.

WHEREAS; In 1974 the FLSA was amended to include domestic workers but excluded home care workers because they were considered "companionship services to individual who because of age or disability are unable to care for themselves." and

WHEREAS; In 1974 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) considered home care workers successors of the "companionship exemption" even if they were employed not by private families but by home care agencies; and

WHEREAS; In 2007 the United States Supreme Court upheld the DOL exemption and is still considered companions not employees and is still denied FLSA protections; and

WHEREAS; In most states home care workers are trained and certified and work long hard hours caring for tens of thousands of the nation's elderly and infirmed clients, saving billions in hospital, hospice and nursing home costs; and

WHEREAS; The multi-billion dollar home care industry is largely funded by Medicaid dollars where for-profit organizations and not-for-profit agencies largely pocket funding that should go directly to home care workers as overtime pay ; and

WHEREAS; The number of homecare workers at 800,000 nationally now surpasses the number of nursing home workers while retention levels in many communities are low due to the lack of health care, livable wages and the lack of overtime pay; and

WHEREAS; In the 21st century homecare workers should not have a second-class status but stand on equal footing with other trained and certified occupations; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED;
LCLAA support H.R. 3582 which would end the companionship exemption which would develop this industry with greater stability and begin to create steps in which home care workers would be able to stabilize retention, create new training and functions to increase job service capabilities and allow workers to consider this industry sustainable for long-term career goals; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED; That LCLAA and its affiliates campaign nationwide for federal Medicaid program and state Medicaid programs to make adjustments in reimbursement rates for publicly financed programs and to provide subsidy of care for private-pay services through changes in the tax code.

Respectfully submitted by: 
New York City LCLAA Chapter
Albany/Capital District Chapter
Westchester County LCLAA Chapter            

REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE: CIVIL and HUMAND RIGHTS COMMITTEE
CONCURRENCE:________________________________________
NON-CONCURRENCE:___________________________________