What Do We Do If …?

I have written a number of postings about bills in the California legislature and proposed regulations at the US Department of Labor that would remove the overtime exemption for Home Care Aides (professional caregivers).

This is something that worries both our employees and our clients, quite a bit.  They know that removing the overtime exemption will actually reduce caregiver income (because they will not be able to work longer shifts — including 24-hour “live-in” shifts) while increasing costs to clients and their families.

Unfortunately, even some of the better “minds” in the world of aging and senior care just do not get it.  I am a great fan of the blog “The New Old Age,” and one of its major authors, Paula Span.  However, I am mystified that her article on the issue, “Fair Pay For Home Health Aides,” basically assumes that nasty employers, like me, at Support For Home, are just out to maximize profits and abuse our employees.

Our own clients and employees know better.  We actually pay 35% to 50% more than minimum wage for hourly shifts already (yes, that is more than most agencies, but they all pay more than minimum wage in our region). 

In 2011, we had 15 caregivers who made more than $25,000.  We had 7 Home Care Aides who made more than $30,000.  Frankly, in this economy, we are proud of that number.  In 2012, we know that number will go up quite a bit — if the politicians and their contributors — let us take care of our clients and our employees. 

If any of the politicians or bureaucrats — or lobbyists — would like an internship running a home care company in California, to find out what the real world is like — for employees, clients and employers — we would love to have them give us a call!

One of our clients did just that, today — gave us a call to ask, “What do we do if the proposed legislation or rules go into effect?”  He had a couple of suggestions that we discussed.  We are wide open to ideas on how to maintain high quality, cost-effective home care.  Your comments and suggestions are welcome, too.

Best wishes.  Bert


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