By: Rhiannon Acree, R.N., Cambrian Homecare
In California a labor backed bill ‘AB 241’ was signed into law by Governor Brown effective January 1, 2014. The original bill included overtime for caregivers as well as meal and rest periods, away from the work place. The bill was watered down in the end and presently only requires the new overtime for regulation for three years, at which time its impact will be evaluated.
AB 241 requires over time to be paid after 9 hours of work per day and 45 hours per week. Consequently, agencies have been scrambling to reduce the clients hours to comply, attempting to keep caregivers the client knows on the extra shifts as much as possible; also, attempting to find more work for the caregivers who now lose income as their hours have been reduced.
The “live-in care” is more complicated. The caregiver must have 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If the caregiver has to get up even once in that 5 hour period, they must document and the agency charge for the time making the whole day more expensive for the client. The overtime after 9 hours is folded into the daily rate. Those who have been paying under $200 a day will now be looking at charges over $200 per day, depending on the agency’s insurance and workers compensation rate.
We all want the best for our caregivers; however, this situation takes work hours away from the caregiver. The extra expense prohibits some families from being able to afford the hours they really need. We fear seeing more people hiring “off the street” without background checks and without having the caregiver insured.
If you have an opinion on this matter, please email or call the Governor’s office. This is for three years and he does want to hear from you. Email: The official CA.GOV web site under Contact us or call 916 445 2841.
In addition, a second bill AB1217 was passed, originally effective January 2015, I believe the effective date is being extended to January 2016. I will share with you in the next issue how this bill and a new labor backed initiative, at the Office of the Inspector General as we speak, changes homecare services for all of us.
Happy New Year from Rhiannon Acree and all of the staff at Cambrian Homecare! You can find Cambrian Homecare in the WELLNESS VILLAGE under In-Home Care Professionals