KEEP HOME CARE AFFORDABLE FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED ADULTS!
  • Petitioned US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

This petition was delivered to:

US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

KEEP HOME CARE AFFORDABLE FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED ADULTS!

    1. Petition by

      Erica Fitzsimmons

The U.S. Department of Labor (”DOL”) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking, in which it proposes to change its interpretation of the Companion Care Exemption, by significantly narrowing the scope of services covered by the exemption and by denying the exemption to any third parties. This important provision currently exempts covered caregivers from the overtime and minimum-wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It permits one caregiver to care for one elderly or disabled individual for an extended period of time, while making the care more affordable to an individual who needs home care to remain independent, and avoid institutionalization.

The DOL’s proposal will hurt seniors and disabled adults who rely on in-home care to live independently. It will significantly raise the cost of the care they receive and, because many are on fixed incomes, force many to get less care than they require. Further, instead of working with one caregiver, many seniors and disabled adults would have to endure caregivers being switched throughout the week to avoid their overtime charges. This loss in the continuity of care would adversely affect the quality of care seniors and disabled adults receive and it would diminish their safety as well. Because of the increased costs, some seniors and disabled adults may be forced to sell their homes and move into institutional care, placing an additional burden on the taxpayer since the care would be covered by Medicaid.

The DOL's proposal would also negatively impact thousands of small businesses nationwide by significantly increasing their administrative costs and by making it more difficult to service clients effectively.  Moreover, the nearly 340,000 companion care workers in this sector would be negatively impacted as they’d have to work less hours than they otherwise might and many would be forced to begin working in the “underground market”. In fact, companion care agencies expect nearly one quarter (23%) of their clients will be forced to seek institutional care or "underground services" from unlicensed providers which can put seniors, disabled adults, and caregivers at significant risk.

We are urging the DOL to immediately withdraw its notice of proposed rulemaking concerning the companion care exemption that would have such harmful consequences to seniors and disabled adults, caregivers in the sector, small business owners, and taxpayers. DOL's proposed rule changes would not only cripple a growing industry in a time of economic recovery, but more importantly, could take away the choice for seniors and disabled adults to stay in their homes. We need to KEEP HOME CARE AFFORDABLE FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED ADULTS!

     

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 1,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Tracy Winegar WARSAW, VA
      • about 2 years ago

      I work in the home health industry

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    • Cheryl Hammons LOVELAND, OH
      • about 2 years ago

      My company provides this type of services and I hear stories daily of how our type of services allows their loved one live out their days in the home they love and remain as independent as possible. The DOL's proposal would take this away from many seniors.

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    • Craig Johnson CONROE, TX
      • about 2 years ago

      This could apply to me, friends or family members. My grandparents require assistance which ensured a longer more enjoyable life.

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    • MALINDA GARCIA FRIENDSWOOD, TX
      • about 2 years ago

      If these changes are made many women who struggle to make ends meet will get fewer hours of work and they will fall through the cracks.

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    • Karen McConville CROZET, VA
      • about 2 years ago

      Those individuals choosing to remain in their own homes but needing companion care would be highly affected by this ruling. Who would want to see these individuals in an institution setting when they could remain where they are comfortable which is in their own homes. This proposal certainly is not in the best interest of the Client nor is it helping the Caregiver. Without Clients, there are no jobs available.

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