Policy Matters op-ed: Taking care of the caretakers
Posted on 06/06/16 in Revenue & Budget
New federal labor rules aim to ensure home-care workers are paid fairly, but Ohio can do more to make sure the workers receive the wage and hour protections they deserve, our Wendy Patton writes in an op-ed on Cleveland.com.
Society increasingly depends on home-care workers to help disabled and elderly loved ones. It's one of the fastest-growing jobs, and a demanding one.
Yet few states pay a living wage for home-care workers, Wendy writes. "Until the new rules were put in place, many states did not even pay them minimum wage."
The new rules protect home-care workers with a wage floor, time sheets and overtime pay – steps that will help stabilize the workforce and improve quality of care, she said.
Still, "The state must do a better job of ensuring the new federal rules are properly implemented and enforced. The state should collect data on home-care workers' hours and travel time, budget for costs, and develop oversight and enforcement mechanisms to ensure fair pay and accurate timekeeping."
State lawmakers should also raises wages.
"A wage increase would lower a shockingly high turnover rate, stabilize one of Ohio's fastest growing occupations and ensure competent care for our family members and neighbors."