Washington, D.C., September 17 – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the announcement by Secretary of Labor Tom Perez that protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act will, for the first time, be extended to home healthcare workers. The change will finally remove the exemption that denied basic minimum wage and overtime protections to millions of home healthcare workers:
“Today’s announcement means that, beginning in 2015, millions of home health workers will no longer be treated like sharecroppers in scrubs.
“This outdated exemption was written nearly 40 years ago, when the home healthcare industry barely existed. Today’s in-home healthcare is no longer made up of a few ‘elder sitters’ as they were once known, but is a multi-billion dollar industry with enormous profit margins. This industry has benefited greatly from this exemption, which allows it to deny overtime and minimum wage protections to many hard-working employees.
“We commend Secretary Perez for updating these regulations and ensuring that two million workers in this industry will finally be treated with the dignity they deserve.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.