Home-care workers are growing inpatient with the White House's delay in publishing a regulation that would bring them overtime pay and the federal minimum wage.
Advocates rallied Tuesday in the nation's capital outside the Labor Department in support of lifting the home-care companionship exemption.
“Every day we don't have these rules finalized, workers are suffering,” Ai-Jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, told The Hill. “It's outrageous that you can work so hard—full time—and still be living in poverty.”
A regulation in place since 1938 provided that families paying a live-in caretaker wouldn't be on the hook to pay hourly wages and a family member who lived at home and took care of another family member wouldn't be eligible for overtime—which would be costly if caretakers were considered on the job whenever they were at home.
But unions argue that the home-care industry can now afford to pay the wages. One industry group estimates home-care providers bring in $88 billion in annual revenue, and the unions note that many of their members live below the poverty line.