UDW members demand lawmakers protect our privacy from Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)

IHSS provider and UDW caregiver Jean Rezabeck speaking at the EVV rally at the Captiol.

On Tuesday, February 13, we joined IHSS providers from SEIU 2015 in a rally and lobby day at the California State Capitol. Together, we had a clear message for lawmakers: Protect the privacy and dignity of caregivers and our clients from Electronic Visit Verification (EVV).

We wanted legislators to know that we have serious concerns like:

  • How will it work?
  • Will it invade my or my client’s private lives?
  • How much will it cost?

These are important questions about the federally-mandated implementation of EVV that have yet to be decided by the state. That’s why we were at the capitol—and will keep going back—to make sure that our voices are heard when it comes to deciding things that will have a big effect on our lives.

UDW member Cynthia Wilson, from Madera, was one of the IHSS prov

iders that took part in the February 13 actions. Cynthia currently has two clients: an 86-year-old woman who walks with two canes and an 87-year-old blind man. Like a lot of caregivers that day, she wasn’t just there for herself; she was there for her clients.

“My clients have already said that if this system has an electronic time clock mounted in their home, they’ll no longer choose to receive IHSS services,” Cynthia said. “They’ll fire me. And then who will care for them?”

IHSS provider and UDW member Cynthia Wilson

Other IHSS clients are worried about EVV, too. Some worry about an electronic monitoring device running up their electric bill. Others are worried that the extra burden of checking in will leave their IHSS providers with less time for caring. All are worried about privacy.

Cynthia said the legislators she talked to were sympathetic to the privacy issue. “They see that it’s an intrusion on our clients,” she said. “Most of the legislators get that. But they don’t want this program to lose any money. We’re bare bones already and we don’t get paid enough for what we do.”

Although most lawmakers are sympathetic when they hear about EVV, many don’t know very much about it. That’s why it’s so important for UDW members to share our stories with our elected leaders; they need to hear from us before they make decisions about us.

“One legislator said, ‘what is expected of you?’” Cynthia recalled. “’Are you just going to go to some timeclock in the house somewhere, just to clock in and out because you’re doing a different chore?”

Exactly. Now that they understand how intrusive EVV could be, we are urging them to do something about it.

To learn more about EVV, click here.

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Paid for by United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund, sponsored by United Domestic Workers of America. Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

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