At corecubed, we support home care being accessible to everyone. Recently proposed legislation in California, however, would dramatically increase costs and limit access to caregivers, putting a financial and emotional burden on the elderly and disabled clients who need care most. PATH (Protect Access to Homecare), reports the following bills are currently making their way through the California State Legislature.
- AB 241, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, proposes to change existing labor regulations for home care workers. Under current law, there is an exemption from overtime pay, recognizing the unique working environment of caring for one individual in his or her own home. It is this exemption that allows families the flexibility to schedule help at a frequency and duration to suit their needs, including 24-hour live-in care as an economical option. Should AB 241 pass, overtime pay would be required of all home care workers in the same manner as factory workers, restaurant workers and retail clerks, dramatically increasing care costs for families and their elderly and disabled loved ones. In addition, regimented meal and rest breaks would be required at regular intervals for the worker in the home, with no back-up on location to relieve them for those required breaks. Many home care workers will actually lose income as a result of these new regulations, as employers will limit work hours to 40 per week, and the cost of 24-hour care, that many so desperately need, will more than double. We all feel that home care workers are valued employees and should be paid a fair wage and valued for the work that they do, but the unintended consequences of AB 241 will prove contrary to the intent. Worse still, it will limit families, the disabled, and seniors from accessing affordable, at-home care.
- AB 1217 proposes to regulate non-medical home care providers much in the same manner as nursing care providers and medical care facilities. Non-medical home care providers help elderly and disabled clients with personal care services, such as bathing, getting dressed, personal hygiene, and domestic services like preparing meals and light housekeeping. The proposal essentially calls for the state to regulate hygiene and domestic chores, treating private households as nursing homes. The regulations would also require all home care workers to be certified by the state, and report their place of employment for listing on a public website – a clear violation of privacy and a potential safety threat. The multi-million dollar cost of implementing this regulation will ultimately be passed on to consumers, resulting in an estimated 25%-35% across-the-board increase in charges to clients. We feel that home care providers should be held to certain minimum standards and best practices, but the exorbitant costs and burdensome regulations of AB 1217 are simply unnecessary and unreasonable.
At corecubed, we honor in-home caregivers and their dedication to compassionate care and service, and we know that they wish to continue providing affordable care to their clients when and where they need it most. That’s why we urge you to sign join the Home Care Association of America and PATH in their fight against these proposed changes in California. Click here to read more about AB 241 and AB 1217, to hear stories from clients and caregivers, and to sign the petition to stop AB 241 and AB 1217.