STATEMENT: Neera Tanden on the Department of Labor’s Final Rule on Direct Care Workers
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Department of Labor announced a rule change to the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, that will expand protections to cover home health aides, making clear that they must be paid the minimum wage for the hours they work. Caregiving jobs, disproportionately held by women of color, often require long hours for low pay. Because of a gap in the law, however, many home health aides have not been able to earn overtime and often do not get paid the minimum wage. Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, released the following reaction to the announcement:
Today’s announcement is welcome news not only for those who work in home care but also for all those who care about fairness in the workplace. The rule change announced today makes clear that the work of home health aides deserves to be valued as work and deserves a fair wage. This rule change marks a step in the right direction.
The administration’s announcement could not come at a better time. Too many women, disproportionately women of color, in these jobs are working from paycheck to paycheck to try to make ends meet and support their families. For them and their families, every dollar counts. The caregiving industry is a growing field, particularly as our population ages, and the need for home health aides will likely continue to grow.
Related resource: Why It Matters That Home Care Workers Just Got New Labor Rights by Bryce Covert (ThinkProgress)
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