When Congress tackled health care, it didn't reform working conditions for people who care for more than 13 million Americans everyday. A California Congresswoman has introduced a measure that would ensure that federal labor laws apply to home health care workers.
Right now, aides who take care of elderly or infirm people in their homes don't legally qualify for the federal minimum wage. Overtime protections don't cover them, either. Democratic Congresswoman Linda Sanchez of Lakewood has introduced a bill that would extend these federal labor requirements to home health care aides.
"I am the daughter of someone who has Alzheimer's," she says, "and I know how important home care workers are. Yet every year, home care aides land on Forbes magazine's list of the 25 worst paying jobs in America."
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says home care worker protections are on her list of regulatory items to address. But Congresswoman Sanchez says home health care workers need a law, in case a future administration promotes a different agenda.