The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was created in 1938 to protect non-exempt workers from employers. This law guarantees minimum wage and overtime pay. Implementing this law ensured that workers would be paid a fair wage for their labor. However, careworkers – those who dedicate themselves to the profession of taking care of others – were excluded from these protections, and have been for decades.
On August 21, 2015 the Department of Labor corrected that mistake. Caregivers now have the same rights that the vast majority of workers have enjoyed those protections for many years. Implementing this change was necessary to get caregivers caught up with the rest of our workforce in terms of wage protections. The care industry in particular has been harsh to its workers.
A prime example of this is the Bayview Home Care Facility. Bayview is a six-bed facility that hired live-in staff to care for its residents. Bayview employees were taken for granted and forced to work un-just hours with little to no pay. Adding insult to injury, Bayview also took deductions from their employees such as utilities and food without written consent and failed to provide them with compliant breaks.
In 2012 a mother and son duo who were employed at Bayview demanded Justice. They succeeded in proving their claim in Court and collectively were awarded over $83,000. To this day, neither person has seen a dime of that money.
These are the injustices that motivate us to stand with community organizations like the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS-SV). On August 22, 2015, they organized a rally outside of the Baview facility to demand that Bayview pay the money it owed to the workers. Justice at Work Law Group proudly stood alongside our brothers and sisters in PAWIS to call attention to Bayview’s flagrant refusal to comply with an order of the Court.
Justice at Work Law Group applauds the new changes in the law applying to caregivers. It is stories like Bayview that lead us to wonder how it took so long for these changes to happen at all.
END WAGE THEFT!