Senior Caregivers: Is a Comprehensive Fair Labor Standard Act Still Just a Dream?

As we approach the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther’s historical speech on August 28, we celebrate how far we’ve come as a nation and acknowledge how far we have left to go.

The protest’s full name was “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” The demand for the civil and economic rights of people of color was the cornerstone of the march. However, the organizers of the march advocated to expand the Fair Labor Standards Act to “include all areas of employment which are presently excluded.”

As Bryce Covert discusses in The Nation, many domestic workers (including homecare workers) are still fighting for minimum wage and overtime protection. Left out of the covered domestic workers class, many of these workers are excluded because their jobs fall under the “companionship exemption,” which limits their protection.

President Obama promised in 2011 to champion a new rule that would extend the Fair Labor Standards Act to include all domestic workers, including those in homecare. However, that change has yet to occur, despite all calls for revision. Surely, as a nation, it’s time we not only honor the spirit of that important march 50 years ago, but strive to fulfill all of its demands.

Before he takes the stage on the National Mall on Wednesday, let President Obama know how you feel about the rights of the senior homecare worker. The Nation offers an open letter to let President Obama know he needs to “fulfill his promise and extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers now.

Senior caregivers are paid more than minimum wage along with benefits by senior home care agencies nationwide. Senior caregivers are usually paid from $9.00 to $14.00 per hour. with protected overtime. If you are a senior caregiver and want to make sure your rights are protected, you can apply for a senior caregiving job in your area on Caregiverlist and also find the details on minimum wage laws in your state.

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