Caregivers defeat attempt to limit hours to 40 per week and ban overtime

United Domestic Workers

Yesterday the Legislature voted to protect continuity of care for our clients and fund overtime pay for IHSS caregivers for the first time in history. It is expected that Governor Brown will sign the bill that contains the necessary provisions for caregiver overtime into law before the June 30th deadline.

SB 855 will:

  • Fund overtime pay for IHSS providers, not to exceed a weekly limit of 66 hours per provider (this is reduced to 61 hours per week until we are able to end the 7% cut)

    • Any hours worked over 40 in one week will be paid at a rate of time-and-a-half
    • This is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2015
    • The overtime figure of 66 hours per week was reached dividing the maximum number of hours a client could receive and dividing the weeks in a month (4.33) to ensure that no client will see a reduction in their hours
  • Fund the payment of travel time to and from multiple clients in the same day, up to 7 hours per week (this does not count toward the 66 hour limit)
  • Fund the payment of time spent accompanying clients to medical appointments

This is a historic win for caregivers and our clients, and is the result of our collective efforts over the past six months to protect homecare in California. Together we:

“I testified at the Capitol this year because the proposals would have devastated my son and family,” said Placer county caregiver Cindy Chapman. “Now I can start thinking about how overtime pay will make a positive difference in our lives.”

Mary Burch, a caregiver from Stanislaus, would have been similarly affected a 40 hour cap on caregiver hours. “This is a victory for caregivers and UDW. If the governor’s plan had gone through, I would have lost my home and my daughter Christy would have been sent to a group home. Now we need to keep standing up to get our hours back.”

As a union, caregivers are still fighting to end the 7% cut to IHSS hours. And we will keep fighting until we win—because we know that every hour of care is critical to our clients and loved ones.

To find out how you can join the fight and to stay informed about the budget and other issues impacting homecare, make sure to sign up for our email list and text message alerts above. Let’s protect homecare together!

This piece is an original UDW 3930 blog post.