January 2015

Overtime Lawsuit Update: President Obama’s Department of Labor Appeals Decision in Case Brought by Private Home Care Agencies!

http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/litigation.htm

Update: The Department of Labor has filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the lawsuit brought by associations of home care companies challenging the Home Care Final Rule.

On December 22, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon issued an opinion and order inHome Care Association of America v. Weil, Civil Action No. 14-967 (D.D.C.), vacating the third party regulation amended by the Home Care Final Rule.

On January 14, 2015, Judge Leon issued an opinion and order vacating the Final Rule’s revised definition of companionship services.

The Department strongly disagrees with both orders.

The Department issued the Home Care Final Rule to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to almost 2 million home care workers. The Department stands by the Final Rule. We believe the Rule is legally sound and is the right policy—both for those employees, whose demanding work merits these fundamental wage guarantees, and for recipients of services, who deserve a stable and professional workforce allowing them to remain in their homes and communities.

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SEIU International VP, Rocio Saenz, President Obama’s #SOTU Urges Nation Forward for All Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2015
Contact: Beatriz Lopez, beatriz.lopez@seiu.org, 202-412-7396
President’s Address Urges Nation Forward for All Families
WASHINGTON, DC – Following the president’s State of the Union address, the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) Executive Vice President Rocio Saenz issued the following statement:

“Tonight, we applaud the president’s agenda and vision that at the core strives to strengthen all working families across the country.

“The president’s agenda stands in sharp contrast to the Republican Congress’ show of contempt for 53 million Latinos during last week’s House vote when Republicans voted to deport immigrant children who have lived here all their lives and undo the little progress we’ve made to fix the immigration system.

“We have come far on several issues, but none more than the promise delivered by our president to millions of families who will be able to remain with their loved ones and the home they have built in our nation. Just as the president affirmed today, we too will move forward and protect the immigration action that the American public supports and families, among them a growing and powerful Latino and Asian American community, everywhere rejoice.

“While the president has led us to major milestones, there is still much to achieve to strengthen and improve the lives of millions of working families. From raising the minimum wage to equal pay, there are significant issues that Congress needs to tackle for the good of the people, not the politics of skewed partisanship. We hope this new Republican Congress can work together with the president to make new milestones for our nation.

“2016 is not far, and there are many listening and watching—old, new and aspiring Americans—at the ready to deliver their own promise.”

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El Discurso del Presidente Insta A la Nación a Avanzar para Todas las Familias
WASHINGTON, DC– Después del discurso del Presidente durante su Informe de Gobierno, la Vicepresidenta Ejecutiva del Sindicato Internacional de Empleados de Servicio (SEIU), Rocio Saenz, emitió la siguiente declaración:

“Esta noche, aplaudimos las prioridades y la visión del presidente que de manera fundamental buscan fortalecer a todas la familias trabajadoras del país.

“Es un contraste absoluto a la demostración de desprecio del Congreso Republicano por los 53 millones de latinos cuando votaron para deportar niños inmigrantes que han vivido aquí toda su vida y deshacer el mínimo progreso que hemos realizado para arreglar el sistema de inmigración.

“Hemos llegado lejos en algunos temas, pero en ninguno tanto como en la promesa realizada por nuestro presidente a millones de familias que podrán permanecer con sus seres queridos y en el hogar que han construido en nuestra nación. Tal y como el presidente afirmó el día de hoy, nosotros también avanzaremos y protegeremos la acción migratoria que el pueblo estadounidense apoya y las familias, entre ellas las crecientes y poderosas comunidades latinas y asiático-americanas, en todas partes se regocijan.

“Aún y cuando el presidente nos ha llevado a importantes hitos, todavía queda mucho por lograr para fortalecer y mejorar las vidas de millones de familias trabajadoras. Desde incrementar el salario mínimo hasta la igualdad en remuneración, existen temas importantes que el Congreso necesita abordar por el bien de la gente, no la política partidista sesgada. Esperamos que este nuevo Congreso Republicano pueda trabajar junto con el presidente para lograr nuevos hitos para nuestra nación.

“El 2016 no se encuentra lejos, y hay muchos escuchando y viendo – estadounidenses viejos, nuevos y aquellos que aspiran a serlo – y están listos para cumplir su propia promesa.”

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We need Governor Brown and Secretary Dooley to understand that the best way to help caregivers and consumers is to expand 1915(i) to all current IHSS providers

Please call both Governor Jerry Brown and Secretary of Health and Human Services Diana Dooley to let them know that you support extending the 1915(i) program to include ALL current home care workers so that no IHSS consumer has to suffer an interruption in their continuity of care.

Governor, Jerry Brown: (916) 445-2841

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Diana Dooley: (916) 654-3454

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The Governor wants to limit parent and grandparent In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provider hours to no more than 360 hours a month, and all other provider hours to 283 hours per month.

If consumers require additional hours of care they will have to rely on different caregivers.

This proposal is not final. We still have a chance to influence the design of what is being called the 1915(i) program.

1915(i) will exempt qualifying IHSS providers from the limit on hours.

We need Governor Brown and Secretary Dooley to understand that the best way to help caregivers and consumers is to expand 1915(i) to all current IHSS providers.

We believe that no current IHSS providers should have a limit placed on the hours of care they’ve been providing, regardless of who their consumers are. Expanding the 1915(i) program to all current IHSS providers is good for IHSS consumers and caregivers.

Please call both Governor Jerry Brown and Secretary of Health and Human Services Diana Dooley to let them know that you support extending the 1915(i) program to include ALL current home care workers so that no IHSS consumer has to suffer an interruption in their continuity of care.

Governor, Jerry Brown: (916) 445-2841

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Diana Dooley: (916) 654-3454

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Governor’s Proposed Budget To Restore 7% Cuts to IHSS Hours and Increase Funding For Skilled Nursing Facilities

Governor’s Proposed Budget To Restore 7% Cuts to IHSS Hours and Increase Funding For Skilled Nursing Facilities

 

On Friday, January 9th, Governor Brown released his proposed state budget for the 2015/2016 fiscal year.  Due to the hard work and dedication of ULTCW members, the Governor’s proposed budget includes the full restoration of the 7% cut to IHSS hours made in previous years and increases funding for skilled nursing homes.

 

For our IHSS members, this means that the remaining 7% cuts made to care hours in previous years due to the recession would now be restored through revenues brought in by a new managed care organization (MCO) tax.  For our nursing home members working in skilled facilities, a .62% increase in funding through the Skilled Nursing Quality Assurance Fee means that there will be more money available for us to negotiate the higher wages and benefits workers deserve.

 

To ensure that these proposed budget pieces are kept in place and passed into law in June, we will need to continue our lobbying efforts to ensure that state legislators understand and support the importance of both the restoration of IHSS hours and increased skilled nursing home funding.  Our efforts will be vitally important since the budget will require a 2/3 vote by the Legislature to be passed into law.

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Home Care Workers Call on Gov. Brown to Do the Right Thing as Judge Upholds Ruling on FLSA: Take Action Today! #Overtime4All

Dear Sisters & Brothers,

 

On  Wednesday, January 14th, a U.S. District Court Judge essentially upheld an earlier ruling that excludes home care workers from the same overtime protections all other workers receive through the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  We expect the Department of Labor to challenge this ruling.

In the meanwhile, since each state has the authority to decide whether or not it will provide overtime to its home care workers, we will continue our efforts to convince Governor Brown to do the right thing by extending overtime, wait time and travel to California In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

Call the Governor, (916) 445-2841, and ask him to move forward with providing justice and dignity to IHSS providers and consumers by paying for overtime, wait time, and travel time. The judge’s ruling does not prohibit the State of California from moving forward with what it already agreed to do last year. Governor Brown must uphold the commitment the Legislature voted for and he signed, and pay home care workers for overtime, wait time, and travel time in 2015.

Further, we are asking home care workers and our supporters to sign and share this petition to the Governor.

Lastly, home care workers should share their personal stories about the difference overtime dollars would make in their lives and their families.  Stories should be emailed to MyStory@SEIU-ULTCW.org as soon as possible.

By taking action today, we’ll be able to lift our voices and ensure that home care workers receive the same protections as all other workers.
In solidarity,

Laphonza Butler
President, SEIU ULTCW

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The rights of IHSS providers & consumers should never be on hold: Stand up & *SIGN OUR PETITION* to move forward!

ihss pic

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We Refuse to Accept Widespread Poverty as the New Status Quo

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SEIU CALIFORNIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 9, 2015

SEIU MEMBERS REFUSE TO ACCEPT WIDESPREAD POVERTY AS CALIFORNIA’S NEW STATUS QUO 

Sacramento, CA – Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement from President Laphonza Butler following the release of Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed fiscal year 2015-16 budget proposal today:

 

“With the leadership of Governor Brown and the deep sacrifice of millions of Californians, we have taken great strides to put our state on a path to a better future since the depths of the Great Recession with greater investments in education and healthcare. But the 700,000 members of the Service Employees International Union in California do not accept a new status quo that allows one in four Californians to live in poverty.  Together, we call on the Governor and Legislative leaders to make 2015 the year California examines the roots of our poverty crisis and forges the solutions needed – from birth to bedside – to renew the California dream for every person in our state.

 

“While the governor’s budget proposal raises ‘Addressing Poverty and Inequality’ as a priority, it calls for little critical analysis and leaves virtually no hope for the Californians who live the reality of poverty every day: single mothers struggling to access child care, low-wage workers scrambling to put food on the table, and caregivers barely able to keep their families afloat.  For these struggling Californians, the size of the cracks in the safety net is the only thing ‘extensive’ about it.

 

“In this his last and historic term, the Governor, and our state legislative leaders, have a rare opportunity to chart a bold and prosperous path for ALL of California. This means investing in essential services and people at every stage of life – from ensuring every young person has the early education needed to thrive in school and life to ensuring our elderly can live with dignity.”

SEIU local unions in California are made up of over 700,000 health care workers, janitors, social workers, nurses, security officers, in-home caregivers, school and university employees, court workers, and city, county and state employees.

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Poverty is California’s Greatest Liability

Sacramento, CA – Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement from President Laphonza Butler following Governor Jerry Brown’s 4th Inaugural Address Monday:

“We’ve seen, and our state has benefited from, Governor Brown’s leadership at its best. Bringing dignity to our diverse state with drivers licenses for aspiring Americans and in embracing the opportunity to expand health coverage to millions through the Affordable Care Act are just a few examples.

“But California’s ‘wall of debt’ that Governor Brown identified and has focused so much energy on is not the only obstacle facing our great state. We also face a Wall of Poverty and Inequality that will surely block our progress as a state if not addressed.

“In his last term, the Governor has another opportunity to partner with California’s working people to make bold and smart investments in California’s people that is morally and economically essential to California’s future. This means investing in the academic readiness of our young people, restoring the promise that hard work can build basic security for the future, and bringing values and dignity to the work of caring for our most vulnerable must be our state’s top priorities.

 “These are the kinds of investments that made California the envy of the world and a symbol of opportunity in an earlier era.

“The 700,000 working men and women of SEIU stand ready to work with Governor Brown and legislators to build a new, bold legacy of prosperity and opportunity for all in California.”

SEIU local unions in California are made up of over 700,000 health care workers, janitors, social workers, nurses, security officers, in-home caregivers, school and university employees, court workers, and city, county and state employees.

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New IHSS Time Sheets Will Be Issued Even Though Overtime, Wait Time & Travel Time Are On Hold

ULTCW_UPDATEJANUARY 2015

As we recently posted, a DC district court judge ruled on December 31st to put a temporary hold on the payment of overtime, wait time and travel time for In-Home Supportive Serives (IHSS) providers.

Although the California Department of Social Services has decided to abide by the temporary hold until future court hearings, we are working to have overtime, wait time and travel time payments honored in the State since choosing whether or not to honor the judge’s ruling is up to each state.

Despite the temporary hold, California will still be sending out the new IHSS time sheets to home care providers. Please fill out your time sheet as you normally would. If you qualify for travel time, please include that as well. While you won’t be compensated for travel time due to the hold, it’s good to record it in the event that we’re able to advocate for retroactive pay in the future.

Again a new timesheet was designed and is being implemented for all IHSS providers. Please make sure you are trained on how to properly complete the new timesheet before February 2015: http://ultcw.org/?p=8154

If you are an IHSS provider, work over forty hours a week, and will be hurt by the State’s decision not to begin payment of overtime as scheduled, we urge you to write your story and share it in an email right away: MyStory@SEIU-ULTCW.org

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Judge Delays Overtime, Wait Time & Drive Time for Home Care Workers


If you are an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provider and you work over forty hours a week and will be hurt by the State’s decision not to begin payment of overtime as scheduled, we urge you to share any stories via email about the impact this will have on the lives of caregivers. We will be collecting these stories to help convince the judge in Washington, D.C. that the overtime rules should be promptly implemented.

Stories can be emailed to: MyStory@SEIU-ULTCW.org

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Home Care Workers Disappointed in Federal District Court’s Temporary Stay to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Rule – Judge is expected to hold another hearing on this matter on January 9:

http://www.seiu.org/2014/12/home-care-workers-disappointed-in-judges-temporary.php

A district court judge in Washington, D.C. made a ruling on December 31, 2014, in a case challenging the new federal rules requiring payment of overtime, travel time and wait time for home care providers. His order temporarily delays the ability of the federal government to enforce those rules. Even though the federal government won’t enforce the rules at this time, States still have the right and ability to implement the plan to pay time and a half for overtime hours.

However, in California, despite home care workers successfully winning funding for overtime hours, the California Department of Social Services has nonetheless indicated that it will delay the payment of overtime until further notice, and that the rules regarding hours caps will also not go into effect until such further time.

There will be another ruling from the judge in mid-January that will determine whether the rule will become effective on January 15. We will be working hard to convince the Department of Social Services to do the right thing and to implement the payment of overtime promptly. Even if the implementation of the federal rules is delayed longer than January 15, the federal government will be fighting to have this judge’s decision overturned so that the rules can go into full effect.

In the meantime, all IHSS providers may continue working according to the same schedule they have been, without regard to the weekly hours caps. Any provider who is working more than forty hours per week will be paid at straight time for all hours worked. If you are working more than forty hours per week, we encourage you to keep a copy of each paycheck submitted while we wait for the overtime rules to be implemented, as it may be useful to have information about the number of overtime hours that were worked after the rule was originally set to be implemented.

Also, if you work over forty hours a week and will be hurt by the State’s decision not to begin payment of overtime as scheduled, we urge you to share any stories via email about the impact this will have on the lives of caregivers as we will be collecting these stories to help convince the judge in Washington, D.C. that the overtime rules should be promptly implemented.

Stories can be emailed to: MyStory@SEIU-ULTCW.org

 

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FAQs: IHSS Overtime, Wait Time & Drive Time Payment Delayed by Judge

Overtime Delay FAQ

Has overtime, wait time and travel time been delayed?

Yes.  A district court judge ruled to temporarily delay enforcement of the new overtime, wait time and travel time rules.  California still has the right and ability to implement overtime rules we won last year anyway but have nonetheless decided to delay payment of overtime until further notice.

How long will the overtime rules be delayed?

The delay will last at least until January 15, 2015, but there will be another ruling in mid-January that will determine whether the new overtime rules will go into effect on January 15th.  Even if the overtime rules are delayed longer than January 15th, the federal government will be fighting to overturn the district court judge’s ruling so the rules can go into full effect.

How does the delay affect my hours?

All IHSS providers may continue working according to the same schedule they do now, without regard to the weekly hours caps.  Any provider who is working more than forty hours per week will be paid at straight time for all hours worked.

How does the delay affect the new timesheets?

Despite the delay, providers will still be receiving the new timesheets even though overtime and travel time will not be paid for.  Providers should fill out the timesheets completely, even with travel time, and keep a copy of each paycheck submitted while we wait for the overtime rules to be implemented.  It may be useful to have information about the number of overtime hours that were worked during the delay.

Is there anything I can do to fight for these overtime rules to be enforced?

Yes! If you work over forty hours a week and will be hurt by the State’s decision not to begin payment of overtime as scheduled, we urge you to share any stories via email about the impact this will have on the lives of caregivers.  Stories can be emailed to: MyStory@SEIU-ULTCW.org.  You can also sign our on-line petition by visiting our website at ULTCW.org.

Also, please ask your family, friends, and neighbors to sign our petition right away!  You can also copy and paste the URL and share it via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. (http://chn.ge/1ALAHEN)

Who should I call if I still have questions?

You can contact the Member Action Center at 1-877-MY ULTCW with any questions you may have.

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