Say What You Will Do, Then Do What You Said
That was the favorite motto of one of my old bosses at Intel. When you really analyze it, it is a pretty solid axiom by which to live and run a business. It is absolutely the way we try to run our in-home care company, Support For Home.
It relates to the way we manage our employees and the way we relate to our clients and their families. One example is that when we started this agency, we encountered what is called Wage Order 15, which governs California employers and employees providing personal attendant care in the home.
The first point to note is that California regulations are stricter than at the Federal level. The US Department of Labor provides meal time and sleep time exemptions from wage and overtime provisions for 24-hour assignments for personal care attendants. In California, there are no such exemptions for employers. They are required, by a literal reading of Wage Order 15, to pay for all 24 hours that the employee is on the assignment.
When we started Support For Home in 2007, we were told no agencies in California were actually complying with Wage Order 15. CAHSAH (California Association for Health Services at Home) confirmed that the Order required employees to be paid for each hour, but that they did not know of any other agency actually doing so, as they try to rely on the Federal regulations.
So, why is Support For Home following Wage Order 15? When we started the company, we promised that we would make our employees the heart and soul of the agency. We told them that and we told them we were going to pay more than any other agency for 24-hour assignments.
Now, even the labor lawyers are saying the State of California will not prosecute; that agencies can get away with it. That means we could too. We could pay what other agencies are paying — $100-$140 or so. Not to put too fine a spin on it — it is not going to happen.
We said we will conform to Wage Order 15, and pay $192 to our 24-hour assignment Home Care Aides. We are doing what we said. Do we have to? Maybe not. But, it is the right thing to do. There is that other old saw about “You get what you pay for!”