According to a recent article from California Healthline, The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has issued an opinion granting home healthcare workers the right to overtime pay and no less than the prevailing minimum wage.
The decision paves the way for officials in the state of California to go ahead with a law passed last year allowing overtime pay for workers in the In-Home Supportive Services program throughout the state. This law was on hold pending this recent decision from the federal appeals court in Washington, DC.
The home healthcare association would be required to pay the overtime compensation. However, as our Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyers can explain, the healthcare association has 45 days to petition the federal court to rehear the case, or, in the alternative, 90 days to file notice of appeal to have the case heard by the United States Supreme Court. A Supreme Court review can take a substantial amount of time, and this would likely enjoin the state of California from implementing the law until the appeal was complete.
However, the Supreme Court does not have to hear every case that is presented for appeal. Pursuant to what is known as the Rule of Four, if four of the nine justices on the Supreme Court desire to hear an appeal, the court will grant certiorari so the matter can be brought before the court. On the other hand, if there are not at least four justices who wish to hear the case, the court will deny certiorari. If this happens, the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will be final, and the law will be allowed to go forward.
Those who support paying overtime wages to home healthcare workers cite many reasons for their position. With an aging population, there will be more elderly residents living in the state of California than ever before, and this will mean there will be a greater need for home healthcare workers.
With healthcare workers being so essential, it is important to look at reasons there has been so much resistance to paying the workers a decent living wage and treating them with the respect they deserve. In reality, as advocates for the home healthcare workers have discussed, many of these workers are minority women, and many of them are from other nations. Essentially, there has been a long history of racism and other discrimination against these women, and now those who are responsible for employing them are fighting efforts by California lawmakers to change this and provide these workers the wages to which they are rightfully entitled.
It should be noted that if an employer is discriminating against an employee for a variety of reasons, including race, ethnicity, national origin, age, and disability, and proof of this discrimination can be established, the worker may have a right to file a legal cause of action. While many workers, especially those who do not speak English fluently, are often bullied into remaining quiet out of fear of being fired, if the employer actually retaliated, this may a be a second claim available to the workers.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
Federal Court Sides With Home Workers, August 20, 2015, California Healthline, by David Gorn
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Walz v. Ameriprise Fin. Inc. – Mental Illness Discrimination Allegation, March 21, 2015, Orange County Disability Discrimination Lawyer Blog