D.C. Home Care Workers Win $15 Minimum Wage

Home care workers in the nation’s capital will now earn at least $15 per hour by 2020, thanks to a recently approved bill.

The “Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016” stipulates that the minimum wage in Washington, D.C., will jump from $10.50 per hour to $11.50 per hour in July, and will increase by about 70 cents per year until 2020, when it will hit $20 per hour. After that, any additional increases in hourly wage will be linked to inflation, according to The Washington Post.

“D.C. seniors should get the quality care at home they want and deserve, and $15 is a first step to fixing our care crisis,” Michael Thompson, a home care worker in Washington, D.C., said in a prepared statement, according to Fight for $15. “We’re going to keep fighting for our union to make sure everyone gets the care they need and no caregiver is forced to work without pay.”

Meanwhile, in California, more than 440,000 health care workers will see their pay increase gradually to $15 per hour by 2022. In New York, minimum wage will be boosted to $15 per hour first in New York City and then elsewhere.

The movement has led to backlash from the health care industry itself, as providers face staffing and wage pressures on a variety of fronts.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson