Rep. Jan Schakowsky Statement in Support of Higher Wages for Home Care Workers

CHICAGO, IL –(ENEWSPF)—January 15, 2015.  On January 14, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon issued the second of two opinions overturning much of a U.S. Department of Labor’s rule to provide minimum wage and overtime protections to 2 million home care workers.  Rep. Schakowsky issued the following statement:

“The District Court’s ruling is a terrible blow to hardworking home care workers –  most of them women – and the seniors and people with disabilities who depend on them.  Workers who receive subminimum wages are more likely to leave as soon as they can find better employment, a major reason for high turnover rates in the profession.   They are more likely to be distracted at work as they try to figure out how to support their own families on less-than-minimum wage pay.  And poverty wages make it difficult to attract the home care professionals we need as the baby boomers retire.

Home care workers provide critical services, and they deserve to be treated with respect on the job.  In this, the richest country in the world, there is no reason why those who care for our parents, our children and our neighbors should not be guaranteed at the very least minimum wages with overtime protections.

I applaud the U.S. Department for Labor for issuing the final rule to correct this serious problem.  I encourage the Administration to appeal these rulings, and I will continue to do whatever I can to ensure that home care workers are paid fairly and treated respectfully.”