For Immediate Release
Monday, February 1, 2016
After decades of exclusion and years of advocacy, IHSS homecare workers in California now eligible for overtime pay
Sacramento – Today is a monumental day for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) homecare workers throughout California. For the first time in history, caregivers for hundreds of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities statewide will be eligible to receive overtime pay. IHSS workers will also be paid for time spent traveling between homecare clients and for time spent accompanying their clients to medical appointments – work time that was previously uncompensated.
“This day has been a long time coming,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore. “It is a victory for the homecare providers who advocated and worked tirelessly to ensure that their profession receives the same labor protections as virtually every other worker in the country. This historic accomplishment is a testament to the power of worker solidarity and member advocacy.”
Until recently, homecare workers across the country were excluded from basic labor protections, such as minimum wage and overtime pay, established by the Fair Labor Standards Act nearly 80 years ago. After the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new rule in 2013 that extended these protections to homecare workers, UDW members campaigned tirelessly to pass Senate Bill 855 in 2014, which implements these changes in the IHSS program.
After overcoming over two years of challenges and delays at both the state and federal level, IHSS workers were victorious last November when the state finally announced it would begin paying overtime on February 1, 2016.
Payment for overtime, travel time, and medical accompaniment will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers and their families in communities across California. The nearly $850 million that will be used to fund these benefits in the next fiscal year will help homecare workers pay for housing, groceries, utilities, and other improvements to their families’ lives.
“This will help my family a lot,” said Adami Lopez of Orange County, a homecare worker who cares for her son Adesis who has autism. “My son needs to see a specialist that our insurance doesn’t cover and we couldn’t afford. Now he’ll be able to see him. Overtime pay will help my son get the services he needs and deserves.”
UDW will continue to do everything possible to ensure that services for clients of the IHSS program remain untouched by any of these new changes.
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a homecare union made up of over 89,000 in-home caregivers across the state of California. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows over half a million California seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home.