Home Health Workers Deserve Basic Protections, Women’s Group Urges

Expressing support for an amendment of the Fair Labor Standards Act to include minimum wage and overtime pay for home care workers, women’s advocacy group OWL published a May report detailing concerns regarding home care workers. 

Urging for fair labor standards, the group notes challenges facing the home care sector in particular. 

“Even in sectors where women make up the majority of workers, there are challenges,” the report states. “For example, the direct-care worker field (e.g., home health aides, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants) will be the second largest field by 2018, according to recent projections.”

The average age of a direct-care worker is 40, the Women and the Workforce report notes, with 89% of those workers being female. The earning potential for these positions is “dismal,” OWL writes. 

“The average median income for direct care workers is just over $20,000, and nearly 30% do not receive basic employment benefits such as health care coverage.”

In the report, OWL urges for changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act in order to level the opportunities for home care workers. 

“Amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to extend basic labor protections, including minimum wage and overtime premium pay, to home care workers,” the organization says. 

View the report

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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