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Bay Area Elder Care Workers Dispute Long Hours and Low Wages

Posted on in Employment

CA employment lawyerProviding care for a rapidly aging population is a problem that has reached acute levels throughout California. When the burden of caring for aging loved ones becomes too great, nursing homes and long term care facilities are often required. A lucrative business for facility owners, workers often end up getting the short end of the stick. Claims centering on long hours and low wages that defy state employment laws have been initiated throughout the state and have resulted in lawsuits being filed by Bay area employees.

California’s Elder Care Crisis

The older adult population has risen dramatically over the past decade and will continue to do so in the years to come. This increase results in a corresponding need for elder care. The UC Berkeley Labor Center reports that there are currently more than five million people over the age of 65 residing in the state. This number is expected to nearly double by 2030. In order to provide for them, the state will need more than three million home health aides and assisted living workers.

Currently, there are less than 600,000 people performing these types of jobs. Part of the problem in recruiting workers for these positions is the low wages and long hours that are often required. Workers in nursing homes and long term care facilities are required to perform numerous duties, which include:

  • Attending to each resident’s personal care and hygiene needs, which include regular feedings, bathing, and adult diaper changes
  • Providing 24-hour observation and monitoring for patients suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other complex medical conditions
  • Performing janitorial duties throughout the facility

Shifts for elder care workers can end up being 10 hours or longer and may require workers to essentially live at these facilities. Despite the complex nature of their jobs and the high fees clients often pay, the pay can average out to below minimum wage.

Wage and Hour Claims Among Elder Care Workers

While adult care workers push themselves to the point of exhaustion and barely making living wages, the owners of facilities often get rich through pocketed profits. They cite a Southern California woman who was featured in a reality TV show and boasted of making millions through ownership in a string of elder care facilities. Her employees eventually filed legal claims over wage and hourly employment violations. She was fined more than $1.6 million in penalties.

Closer to home, elder care workers being exploited throughout the Bay area have also taken a stand in initiating lawsuits against their employers. Recent cases involve people required to perform so much extra work without reimbursement that their net averages to less than $4.00 per hour.

Contact a San Jose Attorney for Help

At the Jachimowicz Law Group, we protect the rights of workers suffering from wage and hourly violations. To request a free confidential consultation to discuss your case, call 408-246-5500 or contact our skilled San Jose worker rights attorneys online today.

 

Sources:

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/elder-care-homes-rake-profits-workers-earn-pittance-63133085

http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/californias-homecare-crisis/

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