Quote of the Day

"It's outrageous that you can work so hard—full time—and still be living in poverty."—Ai-Jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which led a rally outside the Labor Department yesterday, demanding long-sought minimum wage and overtime rights for home care workers.
[Lisa Thomas, an in-home aide from Chicago's West Side] said she had been working in the industry for more than two decades and has watched as colleagues work as many as 24 hours a day for as little as $4.44 an hour.

...Last month, Vice President Biden said rules excluding benefits for in-home workers were created long before the industry grew. The so-called "companionship exemption" enacted for minimum wage and overtime rules in 1974 did not envision the rise of the domestic care industry, he said.

"As the home care business has changed over the years, the law hasn't changed to keep up," Biden said during a speech on the 75th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act. "Shouldn't someone working 40 hours a week be able to make a wage that's above the poverty level?" said Biden.

Home health aide is the fastest-growing profession in the United States. Which is why, as Sy Mukherjee notes at Think Progress, legislation to ensure home health aides make a living wage is so crucial: "Jobs in this sectors are expected to grow well into the future as the health law goes into effect and baby boomers retire; without a minimum wage or overtime, that means a steadily growing class of underpaid workers caring for America's most vulnerable."

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