Equal Pay Day, Including Caregivers

Caregiverlist advocates for senior caregivers to receive the benefits of payroll taxes, training and ongoing management for support of the caregiving services.  By following employment law, caregivers and seniors are protected.  If there is an accident, worker's compensation insurance will pay and when it is time for the caregiver to retire, they will receive social security benefits as they have contributed through their paycheck.

This week, Equal Pay Day was celebrated on April 12th.  This day is chosen as it represents the number of days women must work in order to earn what a man did the year before.  The wage gap is even greater for women of color and women with disabilities, with women earning 77 cents for every dollar that men earn.

The majority of senior caregivers are women. 

What may start off as a relatively minor pay gap for women just entering the work force can grow over the course of a woman’s work history, especially when it is accompanied by other forms of compensation discrimination, such as in payment of bonuses or contributions to retirement accounts.  By the time of retirement, the real costs of the wage gap to a woman and her family is not just lost wages, but also lowered pensions and Social Security benefits.  This negative impact is even greater for single mothers, and households where a woman is the primary wage-earner.

In 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which overturned the Supreme Court’s interpretation of when a person must file a charge of wage discrimination. The Ledbetter Act restored the position the EEOC had championed for decades:  that the receipt of each paycheck representing a discriminatory wage constitutes a separate violation of the law, and that a charge of discrimination is timely if filed within 180 (or 300) days of receiving unequal compensation.

In signing the bill, the President said, “I intend to send a clear message:  That making our economy work means making sure it works for everyone.  That there are no second class citizens in our workplaces.”  As Lilly Ledbetter herself noted in an address to EEOC employees, when she began her quest for parity with her male colleagues, she did not want special treatment; she wanted only to be paid the same wages her male colleagues earned for performing the same work that she successfully performed for many years.  She simply insisted that she should be treated fairly.

Caregivers also should be treated fairly and well paid with full benefits.  Senior home care agencies provide active care management and payroll taxes for caregivers.  As the senior population continues to grow, jobs are available for caring individuals and you may apply for a job near you.



Log in