It is inconceivable but true: in 2015 there are workers in America that don’t have the right to a minimum wage.
What’s worse, these workers are responsible for taking care of the most important people in our lives—our grandparents, parents, friends, and loved ones who require in-home support to stay safe and healthy at home. And thanks in part to our aging baby boomers, homecare is the fastest-growing occupation in America.
Homecare workers, who recently joined the national Fight for $15 are speaking out and organizing for change. On March 19th, workers in California will stage a Justice for Homecare Tribunal to shed light on injustices that not only hurt millions of caregivers, but also our communities and the elderly and people with disabilities who rely on their labor. You can watch the event live online by RSVPing here.
Speaking out will be workers like LaTanya Cline, a San Diego caregiver who makes $9.85 an hour with no paid sick leave, vacation time, health care or retirement benefits. Despite the lack of pay and benefits, LaTanya is dedicated to her two clients, paying special attention to their self-esteem because she believes that offering strength and encouragement helps them both mentally and physically.
Nationwide, it is estimated that 56% of homecare workers are on public assistance to take care of their own families. And despite the fact that homecare workers save our country billions every year by keeping the elderly and people with disabilities out of institutions, they are one of the only groups of workers not protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This means that for over 75 years, caregivers have been excluded not just from minimum wage, but overtime pay and other basic labor protections.
It is for these reasons that California caregivers are taking a stand. Watch live on March 19 at 12:30 PM Pacific as hundreds of caregivers, homecare clients, and leaders descend upon the Capitol in Sacramento, CA. At the same time, you can participate in the Justice for Homecare tweetchat on Twitter, using the #Justice4Homecare hashtag.
Special guests include:
Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and author of The Age of Dignity
Sandra Fluke, women’s rights activist and social justice attorney
Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President of AFL-CIO
Dr. Paul Song, Executive Chairman of the Courage Campaign
Special guest Ai-jen Poo recently said, “Caregivers are critical to our ability to live and age as we desire, connected to our families and communities.” You can show your support for homecare workers and clients by joining us for the Justice for Homecare Tribunal on March 19 – see you there!