When you first glance at AB241 it seems like something you would want to support. Positioned as a 'domestic workers bill of rights', it promises to provide basic workplace rights to in-home workers. But you cannot protect workers who are hired directly by individuals, frequently underpaid, and often paid under the table. AB241 will take the in home care industry underground, rendering domestic workers invisible, thereby more vulnerable to abuse.
If you look a little deeper, you see that AB241 makes two classes of already vulnerable citizens--seniors and domestic workers--more vulnerable to physical, financial, and emotional abuse. The most recent changes to the legislation exempts everyone except the home care agencies. Yet it is the home care agencies that keep seniors and caregivers the safest and most secure. In fact, we hire caregivers out of abusive or potentially abusive situations.
Bad for Seniors
Dedicated home care agencies protect seniors by pre-screening candidates, conducting background checks and medical screening, and taking on the employer liability. And with day-to-day management, seniors are given better care, and have more flexibility in making sure that the caregiver that they are working with is the best person to care for them.
AB241 could force us to provide multiple caregivers per live-in client, making staying at home too cost prohibitive. Far fewer seniors will be able to remain in their own home as they require care. Also, imagine an older person living with Alzheimers having to have multiple shift changes every day. That would make an already confusing situation more overwhelming.
Bad for Domestic Workers
Home care agencies pay a fair, dependable wage, cover workers compensation, provide training, and create a safe working environment for domestic workers. If a caregiver is not being treated well, it is the home care agency that takes care of them. If this bill passes, the home care industry will go underground, and domestic workers will provide care directly with no protection, no oversight, no one checking in to see how they are fairing. Instead of preventing abuse, this creates a situation that is ripe for abuse.
Please join us in opposing AB241. Let your State Senators know that you want to keep seniors and domestic workers safe, secure, and well cared for.