The States With The Best And Worst Wage Laws For Home Health Workers

President Obama is pushing the U.S. Department of Labor to move forward on a rule change that would raise wages and require overtime pay for home health workers.  According to a White House media release, 1.79 million Americans fall into this labor category.  More than 90 percent of these workers are women, and roughly one-third are black.  The vast majority of home health professionals are employed by “staffing agencies.”  And “close to 40 percent rely on public benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps.”

In its news release, the White House named which states already have overtime and minimum wage provisions for home health workers, which ones don’t, and which have some but not all protections.  We’ve cobbled the data together in a different way, and created this map showing how friendly states’ compensation laws are to home health workers.  New England, for example, tends not to extend full compensation benefits to this class of worker.  The exceptions are Massachusetts and Maine.

We invite you to take a look–and tell us what you think in our comments section.

Source: White House Office of the Press Secretary

Comments

  • phiamama

    i guess i am blessed to have a home health job that pays 16.00 per hour for a forty-eight hour shift…but then again, you take taxes out, and any health insurance and you are left with a whole lotta not-very-much…but i am so thankful to have job!

    • broke

      WOW! What company do you work for?!!!!! You are blessed!

    • Workinmama

      I take care of my grandmother, and I am paid directly out of her own funds without an agency middleman. I get paid $14 during the day and $10 during the over night (which is really kind of arbitrary because it doesn’t reflect when I am actually awake/asleep or rather – when she is.) I work one 45 hour shift. No overtime, no benefits, no sick days or holiday pay, no unemployment when my job suddenly disappears (which it will at some point because she is 97… she will either need skilled nursing care, or will pass away.) I have to pay self employment taxes, which is more than what an employee pays. Oh… and I haven’t had a raise in the 4+ years I’ve been doing it. It is an absolutely thankless job – but it is a job, and it allows me to have the kind of schedule that lets me be a stay at home mom when I have my son with me… and a full time worker at the same time. I also just applied for foodstamps (my fiancé and I broke up, and I’m completely on my own now) and hopefully with that I’ll have medical benefits and a free bus pass so I can afford transportation as well. I also applied for a second job, although I’m not sure how I’ll juggle that and childcare in the summer time. Even with no debts, and nothing extravagant – I can’t afford a car, and can barely buy groceries.

      • Anonymous

        Wow. That’s quite a story. I originally posted the map on a sister site (stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire), and I’d really like to hear more from you, if you’d like to get in touch.

        Amanda Loder (aloder@nhpr.org)

  • Priscilla S. Kuhn

    Worker’s in home health care should be paid overtime and of course minimum wage. To do less is barbaric! Priscilla S. Kuhn

    • Pagetompage

      What if they are paying a fortune but the staffing agency “middle man” takes the lion’s share?

      • Rmoore

        Families sometimes decide to hire a person direct, but the results can be horrible. If that person claims an injury on the job, and the family doesn’t have full workers’ compensation and other liability insurance in place, they can lose everything – even the home that mom lives in. The agency’s role is to carefully screen and qualify the workers, and carry all of the various forms of insurance. If the worker quits, gets sick or disappears, the agency (hopefully) can provide the continuity of care. There are reputable agencies out there.

        • Anonymous

          Thanks for commenting, but it looks like you might’ve accidentally triple-posted. I’ve gone ahead and deleted the other two identical posts.

  • Superwench1

    It’s unbelievable that we want the best care for our loved ones but we can’t even pay the people providing this care enough to care for their own families.

    • http://bradstinyworld.com bradhart

      That is because the typical American doesn’t give a damn about the people who do any work so long as they get what they want at the price they want. If we cared we wouldn’t own apple products or eat tomatoes we didn’t grow ourselves for example.

    • Donn13

      We throw fist fulls of money at stuff we want (artists, athletes, etc…) but people we need (teachers, cops, healthcare workers) we are stingy and hard hearted. I’ve never really understood why.

    • joel t

      No That is because this how a free country looks like, if you are good at yore job you get paid better if not..

  • http://www.facebook.com/brownell.s Stephen Brownell

    What a horrible color scheme

    • Elisehu

      Apologies, Stephen. This is made from the NPR color palette. Maybe we could choose other parts of the palette but the colors won’t be too different.

      • Mseskin

        The colors themselves aren’t the problem, it’s which are assigned to which options. Your spectrum seems to go Red < Green < Orange which makes no sense.

        For example, when I looked I was shocked to find out that Massachusetts and California weren't among the states with the most favorable worker protections… turns out they are, but the color scheme strongly implies they're not.

        • Uraniastargazer

          Exactly what I thought when I first glanced at the map.

        • Elisehu

          Yes, that’s a valid point. It’s more intuitive for successive colors to go with successive gradients of benefits. We’re fixing it now. Stand by…

          • Hannahbee93

            I’ve also noticed that california changes colors at various levels of zoom. You might want to check that out.

      • http://www.jcowles.com Josh Cowles

        I think the main problem here is the order of colors. You’ve chosen colors roughly analogous to the standard stoplight colors, but they don’t signify the analogous concepts. This greenish blue color, in my mind, should be the “best,” with yellow-orange being in between (minimum wage, no overtime).

        It’s probably nitpicking, but I did want to take the time to explain that I agree with Stephen but not because of the colors themselves.

        Thanks for this important story.

        • Elisehu

          Fixed the order. Thanks.

      • Jac19892004

        Perhaps Steven was refering to yellow being “best” or “most” coverage and green being “moderate” coverage. It is a little counter-intuitive.

        • Elisehu

          Yep. You’re right, so we fixed it. If you do a hard reload it should be updated.

          • jb83

            You and your design team are amazingly patient. I will pass this story and your map along to a journalism team in Indianapolis to spread your work. My mom is in assisted living with dementia and her care staff deserve the dignity and respect of a living wage for the work they do in the state of Indiana.

      • kdfmcgrath

        Why are so many people worried about a stupid color scheme when the infographic is perfectly understandable AND the content of the article is something that is *actually* important? (And, yes, I am a professional graphic designer.)

        • Mseskin

          Because it’s less visually understandable than it could be by simply flipping green and orange.

          • Elisehu

            We fixed it. Empty your cache and reload and it should be better. Thanks for the feedback.

        • Cavalry1104

          Because the graphic CHANGES when one zooms in and out. This means it can not be trusted, Mr. Professional Graphic Designer.

          • Anonymous

            I originally posted this map on my site (stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire.) I just touched-base with the designer of this map, and everything’s fixed on the map itself. It’s just a matter of Google catching up to the changes. If you empty your cache, that should help. If it still looks funky, just zoom-in one click, and everything’s accurate. I’ve checked it against my original spreadsheet.

          • Adam_h42

            Holy Crap!! It zooms?!?! And pans!! Well I’ll be damned.

      • http://twitter.com/leiran leiran

        I have to agree with Stephen. If you are really restricted to using certain colors in your graphics, it’s a policy that should be revisited. First, the scale is from the ‘best’ to the ‘worst’ wage laws in each state, so the color scale should follow some linear progression, say from black to grey to white, or from red to yellow to green. Second, this graphic is completely inscrutable to people with the most common type of colorblindness: up to 10 percent of American men are red-green colorblind.

    • Matt Stiles

      Hey, all. I’ve updated the color scheme so it’s more logical. Might take a minute for the Google cache to clear before it works properly. Thanks for the feedback!

      • http://www.facebook.com/brownell.s Stephen Brownell

        Definitely makes more sense now. Has a consistent “stop-light” design now. As I remember before the greenish color was “Minimum-wage. No overtime.” Which is in the middle with regards to quality here. Thanks for making the improvement.

      • Guest

        Matt, how does the new color scheme work for those with red-green color blindness? I’ve had to change some charts at work to accommodate that, moving to yellow-blue color schemes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=636288582 Tijuana Starstinkle

      lol

    • Adam_h42

      You guys reaaaly care about your colors huh? We are visual creatures I guess…

  • Drickle

    I’m always amazed at how southern states get more than a dollar from the government for every tax dollar collected and the northern states get less, yet the southern states are such cheap bastards when it comes to their citizens.

    • Brown60076

      I live in Mississippi and this is so true

    • Noelle

      I agree. As someone who lives between New York and Florida, I have noticed prominent differences in the way workers are treated in each state. Companies in Florida generally seem to pay less than a subsistence wage, which means that many employees end up qualifying for assistance.

    • Bfecbchief

      kewl aint it…moron

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Benjamin-Foust/1245934880 Benjamin Foust

      because southern leaders ares SOCIALISTS. they truancy programs are usually owned by a judges niece or some shit, they redraw district lines in their own favor in exchange for some of the other guys campaign contributors getting an imminent domain ticket or having something classified from residential to commercial. man there is so much good ole’ boy corruption going on around here it’d make your head spin.

      but mississippi is worse. they’re basically slaves.

      • Blueaussi

        I realize that conservatives and some in the media are making a four letter word of socialist, but I would politely suggest you look up it’s actual meaning before using it as an insult.

        I would say that southern leaders are more along the line of oligarchs, or at least oligarch-wanna-be’s

        But yeah, here in South Carolina, those with low prestige jobs are not paid a living wage. It doesn’t matter how vital a function they perform, they are still not going to be given a fair wage. .

      • Anonymous

        I appreciate that you’re commenting, but I can’t allow this kind of profanity in our comments section, as per our posting policy. I’m deleting this post, but if you’d like to repost a cleaned-up version, I’ll be happy to allow it.

    • Transam403

      Its because the southern states have to deal with illegal immigrants. They are such a massive drain on the state’s resources they need assistance.

      • Tequila

        Are you kidding? The South has been the worst part of the US in terms of labor standards since slavery. There has been total consistency. Scapegoating immigrants for the shameful history of no labor rights in the South — only makes sense if you ignore facts and reality. The largest population of immigrants in the US live in California. They’ve got labor rights. How is that explained?

      • Anonymous

        Aside from Texas, southern states do NOT have to deal with illegal immigrants. Most illegal immigrants are in California, Nevada, New Mexico, and other south western states. Illegal immigration is not a major issue in Georgia, MS, or Alabama.

      • Trenalg

        Wrong, Transam403, because the problem existed in the southern states long before the flood of undocumented WORKERS from Mexico who are trying hard to help their families survive by fleeing an even worse situation in Mexico. Do not forget slavery in the south. Do not think that thoseconditions have been erradicated. The ending of slavery meant the beginning of below-subsistence wages, the continuation of deplorable though different living conditions, and the perpetuation of racial oppression. Racial oppression is rooted in class warfare, which is why we also have a massive population of WORKING poor white “trash” in the south to this day.

  • http://www.dubiosity.net Bevans

    Wow, the entire South. That is SHOCKING.

    • Ackeegirl

      Really? It seems to me that this is the clear continuation of pre-Civil Rights era practices. The worth of black women’s work (from Mammy, to maid, to housekeeper, to home health care worker) has always been priced very low even though the value of that work (childcare, cleaning, cooking, etc.) has been incredibly high.

      • Mseskin

        pretty sure Bevans was being sarcastic…

      • J. Christ

        bro, he was being sarcastic.

      • Debrakelley14

        Why does someone always have to bring up the 1860′s in 2011…hell ..get over it or go back to wherever you came from. I am SICK of anyone making a racial issue out of freakin EVERYTHING brought up for discussion. No one in this nation is a SLAVE and hasn’t been for over 148 years…generations ago. Race is not the issue here. ANYONE can be whatever they want to be..regardless of race. BUT have to WANT it and WORK HARD for it. Race is NOT an excuse for anything any longer. PERIOD. FED UP with the lame excuses.

        • Anonymous

          slavery still exists in the us, saying otherwise is foolish, illegal immigrants are used as slaves, because they fear that if they don’t do what the person asks, they will be turned over to the police

          • Debrakelley

            Foolish? They are not forced to be here…they CAN GO back to Mexico…where the economic and work situation is a LOT BETTER THAN HERE IN THE US…READ THE NEWSPAPERS….randomfatman needs to get educated…

          • Anonymous

            sorry for the delay in responding, haven’t had the chance, now, show me how they can go back, show me proof that they can, and while they may have a better job situation, there is also drug cartels, i don’t know about you, but i would want to get the hell out of there with all the violence, and in some cases they may be forced to stay, you know, AS SLAVES

        • Pagetompage

          chat rage much?

    • Jeannie

      Really?

    • MCVK

      I don’t find it shocking at all – I lived in the South for 14 years. Big mistake. HUGE.

    • Thomlg

      Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

  • Anonymous

    My mother does this work for a living in NYC, she can barely survive on the pay and benefits have been getting worse lately. I live in Texas and in this state there are no benefits to speak of. Take you 9 dollars an hour and eat shoes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Strachan/100000428088872 Scott Strachan

    I am part owner of a home healthcare service in Florida. If implemented, all this bill will do is prevent many caregivers from working for their patients over 40 hours a week. Hurting both the clients they serve, and the caregivers this bill is supposedly intended to help.

    • http://www.k1nsey6.com K1nsey6

      Your comment sounds more self serving then concerned. Kinda like when walmart says raising the minimum wage will make a huge impact on prices and hurt the economy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Strachan/100000428088872 Scott Strachan

        My comment is what it is. I cant help it if that is the reality. To give you some background I was a CNA & worked hard to become an RN. I respect the caregivers we work together with and work hard to be sure they are compensated fairly. I have caregivers who are paid more than I am and they deserve it. If this law were implemented their options would be limited.

    • Ackeegirl

      Or, home health care workers could be part of general registry (which requires certain standard qualifications and back ground checks) and work as freelancers altogether.

    • Tonia Becker VerShaw

      What are you thoughts on the current conditions within the system Scott? I don’t know much about the full landscape of this issue and would love to hear from owners and workers within the system who know much more than I. I agree adding overtime and minimum wage restrictions can often backfire resulting in unintended consequences sometimes making things worse. But, if the stats are correct that 40% of home health workers are on assistance programs – that seems a bit nutty to me.

      What are your observations in terms of conditions within the system and if the conditions are unacceptable, thoughts on what to do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Strachan/100000428088872 Scott Strachan

        We have to function within the market. I do not work on the Medicaid end of home care but as a private pay provider. We have to be competitive with the 50+ other businesses in our area providing similar types of services. Both in what clients pay, and what caregivers earn. We are proud of the narrow margins we maintain as a business. I had to laugh at one comment about home care business owners going out on their yachts. I can assure you we are not getting rich providing this type of service, however I am proud of the level of service that we provide. Yes, I do believe that caregivers should earn more (as should teachers, nurses, and police officers), and I wish that were so. However I do not believe the market would support that. With pay where it currently stands we are still inundated daily with individuals seeking work. I am glad that we are able to help many of them find work.

        • Anonymous

          Hi Scott!

          Thanks for participating in the discussion. I’m the original poster of the map (stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire), and I cover business and the economy. It sounds like you have an interesting story.

          If you’d like to get in touch, I’d really like to hear more from you about how this works from your perspective as a home health business person.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s not forget that minimum wage is a joke. Maybe a teenager deserves that but working adults can’t live on that.

    • http://bradstinyworld.com bradhart

      There needs to be is an incentive to hire adults over teenagers and full time workers over part time workers.

    • Pagetompage

      not to mention adults with teenagers

  • Rebecca

    I have been a home health worker for Seven years of my life. I live in one of the “good” states and I still need assistance just to get buy. We have a long way to go for proper pay for Health care workers.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Rebecca,

      If I may ask…which state are you located in? (I ask because I cover business and the economy in New Hampshire, and New England is definitely split as a region.)

      Anyway, if you’d like to get in touch, I’d like to hear from you! (aloder@nhpr.org)

  • Amkarch82

    Just look at the south, it’s disgusting and shameful

  • Soapworks1

    As a direct care worker, I fully support the move towards providing better pay and benefits for people who do what I do. BUT this is going to be difficult to implement while cutting Medicaid and Medicare dollars at the same time. Agencies that provide these services work on a reimbursement basis, largely from Medicaid and Medicare. The more these programs are cut, the worse the conditions will become, both for workers and for those to whom we provide care.

    • http://bradstinyworld.com bradhart

      I think the solution is not forcing the minimum wage and overtime on the company, because that is as you quite accurately point out that is going to be harder with tighter medicare and medicaid payments. I would rather we allow companies to pay an hourly amount capped at X amount then to pay the rest on some sort of profit sharing plan with stock options for these workers to make up the difference.

      • Soapworks1

        Stock options for workers who are largely in poverty themselves??? Most direct care workers are barely able to put food on their own tables week to week.

      • Cejs2003

        Have you tried to live on minimum wage? Less than means supporting these workers with food stamps and causing them to live in deplorable sub-standard housing or their cars. As for stock options, this is not wal-street or even wal-mart. Stock in a home health agency won’t feed the kids. Real solutions are fair pay and higher taxes for the 1% who spend their days in the oh so arduous board room instead of wiping but and bathing the sick and infirm. Guess who contributes more to a better society and who fires workers to recieve even more stock options?

        • http://bradstinyworld.com bradhart

          It is time to give up your occupy this or that 1% vs 99% rhetoric and live in the real world for a moment. Yes, I have lived on minimum wage, unemployment and even been on welfare from time to time before you even begin suggesting I don’t know what i am talking about..

          There is a big part of reality puzzle you are missing here. The big one is most of these companies can’t afford to pay them for every hour worked, much less travel time and gas. It doesn’t matter to insurers, be they private or public, how long it takes to provide the care. They pay the agency the same price for the service regardless of whether some one drove thirty or forty miles out of their way to do it and whether or not it was done in twenty-minutes or two hours. Not to mention they rarely do pay in a timely fashion. it can be up to six months before a home health agency actually receives the money from an insurer, meaning they are often paying workers without the benefit of having received a check themselves for the work performed.

          I am in full support of making minimum wage a living wage, but this is an industry where a flexible pay schedules has to be adopted or we must force insurers to pay more and do it in a timely fashion. Since the insurance industry has the strongest lobby in Washington guess which of these options is more realistic. It would be nice if we could pay these people enough to be off food stamps, housing assistance, and other welfare programs but don’t count on that happening for people who more often than not have little more than a high school education.

          The reason profit sharing and stock options will work in the long run in this industry is two fold. First the lower cash wages paid at a steady rate will ensure that between payouts the recipient can readily receive food stamps, health care, and housing assistance. You rest easier knowing you can count on having those things for eight to ten months of the year and that your kids will continually have insurance regardless. Secondly I didn’t suggest that these be token payments either. Profit sharing and stocks must legitimately cover the difference between cash wages and hours worked. Stock no matter your economic situation has cash value. If you don’t want to hold it or need the cash, then sell it. it is that simple.

    • Pdb042

      Seems simple enough to me..Get rid of the job placement “body shops”..and let everyone negotiate their own wage so i don’t have to chip in….

      • Soapworks1

        Most agencies are not “body shops” but are organizations with oversight to ensure quality of care. We all have to “chip in” to care for those who cannot care for themselves.

        • Zdog

          I disagree – the agencies are not taking care of the home bound – they oversee depositing checks and setting up scheduling — when we had mom assisted by in home care, the “agency” came out occasionally and screwed my mom’s diet and medicines before my brother and I caught their mistakes – we were alerted by the ‘worker’ who was a rna and made to look like a fool by the agency when if fact, the agency nurse was the idiot. This was a highly recommended agency, btw, and we were not trying to scrimp on money –

          • Elizabeth

            That’s an unfortunate scenario. Reputable agencies also verify the licensure status for their employees (where applicable) and are held to rigid standards. They also provide continuous education for the staff as well. But as an RN who has worked in home health and home hospice care, I have worked with many very capable, conscientious private duty caregivers as well. It’s hard work with long hours and it’s hell on a vehicle. Thank goodness it’s rewarding.

      • Rmoore

        Families sometimes decide to hire a person direct, but the results can be horrible. If that person claims an injury on the job, and the family doesn’t have full workers’ compensation and other liability insurance in place, they can lose everything – even the home that mom lives in. The agency’s role is to carefully screen and qualify the workers, and carry all of the various forms of insurance. If the worker quits, gets sick or disappears, the agency (hopefully) can provide the continuity of care. There are reputable agencies out there.

    • Rmoore

      The trend is toward adult children combining their dollars and funding the care from a distance. My mother in law has six adult children and we all pitch in hundreds every month. Her living conditions are modest, but she is happy in her 80s.

  • Reese

    Texas adopted the Federal minimum wage of $7.25, and has a specific overtime pay law… so, at least that portion of the chart is incorrect I think…

    • http://www.facebook.com/ryurack Rebel Yurack

      That doesn’t mean it extends to Home Health Care workers, which is what this chart is showing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.treat Bob Treat

    That’s great that a few people get rich off your vulnerable loved ones while you may be thinking all the money you are paying is going to a well trained, paid and professional staff but I guess that’s ok because that’s the entrepreneurial spirit of the job creators that makes this country great, right? Put an ad in Craig’s List, get references, spend a couple bucks for a background check, you’ll get someone qualified and not give 80% to some rich guy using it for a yacht payment.

    • Pdb042

      Well put Bob!

    • Rmoore

      Families sometimes decide to hire a person direct, but the results can be horrible. If that person claims an injury on the job, and the family doesn’t have full workers’ compensation and other liability insurance in place, they can lose everything – even the home that mom lives in. The agency’s role is to carefully screen and qualify the workers, and carry all of the various forms of insurance. If the worker quits, gets sick or disappears, the agency (hopefully) can provide the continuity of care. There are reputable agencies out there.

  • Cdub

    What about Alaska and Hawaii?

    • Teddy

      zoom out

  • Jwclubbs

    As usual Missouri is the wrong color

  • EducatedFrustratedMiddleaged

    I worked home health care while finishing up my university degree. When the price of gasoline got so high, by the time taxes were withheld, and the cost of travel it left me in the red. No mileage compensation, etc. I cannot afford to work in this field even with a college degree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zkelvin Brandon Blakeley

    This really is a terrible color scheme.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Kone/100001416067374 William Kone

    What kind of fool would take a job that pays less than minimum wage? “Hey, we want to hire you to go into strangers homes, wipe their bottoms, help feed them, and we are only going to pay you $4 a hour. Oh and we want you to work 50 hours a week.”

    Who jumps at that? Fast food pays more and works you less. But then what requirements are their to do this? fog a mirror I guess.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1508210681 Crystal Howcroft

      when you need a job, you take what you can get. I do this kind of work because i like the people i take care of, want them to have good treatment, and because there is nothing else out there. The hours wear you out, that’s for sure.

  • Chip2Stan

    “No minimum wage or overtime” is one color-shade off from it’s opposite, “Both minimum wage and overtime”. Yet the half-option is a completely different color.

    Google “Edward Tufte” and learn some basics about visual representation.

  • http://www.k1nsey6.com K1nsey6

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, home health care workers are exempt from overtime and not eligible to receive the federal minimum wage. This is the law that needs to be changed.

  • Sorichsopretty81

    I moved from mn to tn. I cannot believe the wage difference!! Ludicrous that the avg nurse wage is around 20 dollars give/take a few. Being salary and being efficient has helped me curb that “hourly” wage…plus mileage reimbursment. :)

  • Brandonface

    I think the administration could do a lot more to address the wage and benefit gap between the rich and the poor or between whites and minorities. Our country is segregated. There is no denying this fact, the repeal or ignoring of desegregation laws in the 80s and 90s led to the re-segregation of schools and that led to the problems you see represented in this map. Its a social problem to. People have to want to make things fair before they will be fair.

  • Michelle

    I am a home health provider, a single mom, and a student. I work in this industry because my heart is in it, I realize there is a huge need, and the flexibility it offers. I make less money then my son’s babysitter makes and yes, we are on food stamps. My son also is on state health insurance which we pay $76 a month for. I have not had insurance in many years. My sister has been doing this work for 30 years and I make the same wage she does. It is hideous how we treat our elderly and those who care for them.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Michelle,

      Thanks for commenting. It sounds like you have quite a story. I’m a business and economy reporter, and the original poster of the map (stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire). If you’d like to get in touch, I’d love to hear more about what’s going on with you in the home health field.

      Amanda (aloder@nhpr.org)

  • Yujeissi

    It’s about time!

  • Concern

    Where the heck did they get their info? http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm

  • http://www.k1nsey6.com K1nsey6

    The Fair Labor Standards Act supersedes federal minimum wage laws. Kinda like restaurant servers do not get minimum wage in Texas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245957012 Teri AngelsBaby Weyant

    the whole state of our economy sucks. the gap is growing day by day… what’s that you say Mr. Marx?

  • http://twitter.com/CeclC Cecil Caulkins

    More money is always desirable. What needs to be understood is that much of the home health industry is supported by Medicaid payments. The provider gets reimbursed $X per unit of service. It doesn’t take a great mind to realize that you can’t paid the home health aide more than you get reimbursed for the service. Providers keep pushing states to increase the reimbursement rate precisely so that we can afford to pay more. At the same time, we can’t go too low, or else McDonald’s will hire away our employees. It’s a little more complicated than just raising the wage standards. Unless you want to put the providers out of business and eliminate home health services. [Disclosure: I've been on the board of directors of a home health nonprofit since 1993, so I'm not just making this stuff up.]

  • Alonso Álvarez de Araya

    The distribution looks even worst than the slave holder states of yore.

  • Aurora Ford

    I am the payroll processor at a home health care agency in Anchorage, Alaska an I am a little confused because we are held to the same minimum wage standards as the rest of the state, and we most certainly are required to pay overtime.

  • Baraco1

    Define “Home Health Workers”. Are you talking about private duty licensed nurses, certified nurse assistants, or agency placed caregivers, which typically requires some level of specialized and often certified training?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1330365539 Christopher Jon Noice Jr

    I cant believe out of all the topics that this could bring up some of you people are discussing the colors on the map and not the actual integrity of the data nor the fct that this is a needed change.

  • Rogerpkp

    Wow. Oregon and Vermont? Really? Surprising.

    • Anonymous

      Since I report for New Hampshire Public Radio’s/NPR’s StateImpact site (stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire), the NH-Vermont divide really caught my attention, too. Mainly because, on economic policy, the two of them don’t always see eye to eye.

  • annoyedinND

    My mother works in home health care in North Dakota. She works long hours, seldom gets a day off, and doesn’t get very good benefits or pay for her trouble. Her job basically just covers the health insurance bills for the family.

  • Lamar_moreau

    Why does them being black and/or black have to do with it??? They is kinda racist and sexiest statement.

    • Cavalry1104

      You consider this to be among the sexiest statements you’ve ever seen?

    • Cavalry1104

      Black and/or black?

    • Sarah K

      No, it’s a statement to EXPOSE racialized policies.

  • Caregiver

    I live in Ms. and I can tell you the prices I’ve been given for 24 /7 care for my 95 year old mother in-in law are from $10.00- 25.00 per hour. I’m trying to put together a good care system for her at home. It’s very pricy on the paying end. If it gets much higher people that that are simply paying out of pocket for it ,won’t be able to afford it and agencies will close and the caregivers will have no work! It’s already having in St. Louis Mo with the agencies not getting new clients.

  • Sick and tired

    Surprise surprise, It’s the election turnout map, more or less.

  • James

    I am frequently inclined to believe that Arizona is the most draconian state I could possibly live in but then I see things like this. Hey, I guess it could be worse. At least we aren’t South Carolina.

  • Gerald

    no surprise here. The Red states(Republican states)having no compassion for the poorer among us

  • MCVK

    Why did you choose to pick on little old New England in your two-paragraph story when the entire South AND a few nearby states are not “friendly” at all?

    • Anonymous

      Good question! And no, I don’t mean to pick on New England. I’m the original poster of this map, on stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire. I cover business and the economy in New Hampshire as part of a collaboration between NPR and member network NHPR. So to make this map more relevant to my original readers, I discussed New England’s situation specifically.

      But you’re right, the South dominates the map in terms of not including home health workers in minimum wage and overtime provisions.

  • Tuckerdolf

    Some of the states change color when you zoom out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1392847544 Lori McCarthy

    Is there one county in Maine not giving both minimum wage and overtime, or is this an error on the map, or did far eastern Maine finally break off and become its own state? (When I zoom out, the color of ME changes from yellow to green).

  • Chrisseault

    I find it very interesting that in your description you highlight New England as ‘tending not to extend full coverage, except Maine and Massachusets. So almost half of New England states in are in the ‘best’ category which seems a stretch to say the region goes the other way. If you want to highlight a region look at the entire south!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ivy.kennedy Ivy Kennedy

    is this for agency pay only, or data for aides paid via Consumer Directed also?

  • Guest

    I am an owner of a Home Care agency assisting seniors in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our noncertified agency is mandated, by the Commonwealth of MA to pay overtime (defined as 40 hours/wk) and minimum wages.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for commenting!

      I originally posted this map on a sister site (stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire). I cover business, the economy, and how government affects both in New Hampshire. And I frequently find myself comparing various New England state policies. I’d like to hear more about what’s going on where you are. If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at:

      aloder@nhpr.org

      Amanda

  • MCVK

    While we’;re at it, let’s talk about restaurant workers and how they are exempt from minimum wage laws.

  • http://twitter.com/ttfe Tom Wrenn™

    I’m pretty sure we have a minimum wage in CT. ~$8

  • mouse

    colors don’t match the legend — Ohio is orange, for example, which says “both minimum wage and overtime”, but when I click on Ohio it says Minimum wage but no overtime. Confusing.

  • Bob

    Good ol’ Alabama. Right to work (abuse workers) state.

  • Jrgong121

    The White House first approves sweeping cuts to home health reimbursement. Then the administration decides to vilify home health agencies for trying to control operation cost while continuing to provide the sick and elderly with patient-centered care.

    • Jrgong12

      operating cost*

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for commenting! I originally posted this map at stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire. It sounds from your comment like you might have some direct experience with this issue?

    • EmployedLivingInPoverty

      Control operation cost by paying such low wages many of us have to be on welfare and food stamps? Have no health insurance and end up with bad backs after lifting patients in and out of wheelchairs, bending twisting to tie their shoes, help them with toileting, bathing. Also we do not qualify for unemployment benefits due to the low hours they keep us at.

  • Tso Hearn

    Of course my State is the only one that’s ambiguous about how it pays it’s workers. Cuz Arizona it SO special, not.

  • Cavalry1104

    NPR, I thought you would have put more thought and heart into this story. Simply zooming in and out of the shown image changes the colors of many of the states. What are we supposed to take away from this story when we can’t trust the visual? Not to mention the poor choice of coloring in the first place.

  • wanderwoman99

    I live in Illinois and am proud that my state is among those who pay both minimum wage and overtime to home health workers. Minimum wage is not really enough since HHWs are responsible for the lives of the folks they care for.

  • Aknannyjob

    Alaska

  • Dick

    Louisiana has minimum wage laws…I don’t see how this is accurate.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for commenting.

      The map doesn’t address minimum wage laws in general, but rather if states include home health workers under their minimum wage laws. Under current federal rules, certain classes of workers are exempt from the federal minimum wage law. Home health workers fall into one of those classes. Tipped workers, like waiters, also don’t automatically get federal minimum wage. For these kinds of employees, it’s up to individual states to decide if they want to cover these workers under their own minimum wage laws–or not.

      According to data from the White House, Louisiana has chosen not to cover home health workers under a state minimum wage statute.

      Does this information match what you know about the state?

  • Ala

    I think the map colors are mislabeled.

  • Ripeningwithin

    What kind of home health worker — trained ? certified? Unskilled? And, who is paying them — out of pocket payment by the family? County agency paying someone to go into the home of an elderly person? There are some holes in this story. Hard to apply logic if you’re not playing with a full deck of information.

  • Greglehman

    even at minimum wage it runs to 6400 a month if you need full-time staff, plus taxes if you are at home- a pretty big number for almost anyone

  • Jenherrera73

    i think as i cna we are way under paid for the job we do we are not just but wipers we are the patitients psychyatrist, theropist and sometimes there family or best friend it is the hardest job u will ever have and u have to love it to do it but it is hard to live on the money we make i made more in factory work and i didn’T HAVE A MED LIC

    • Anonymous

      Hey Jen,

      It sounds like you have quite a story. I originally posted this map on my home site stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire. If you don’t mind sharing a bit more, I’d love to hear from you.

      Amanda Loder aloder@nhpr.org

  • Girlinthecafe22

    I work for a home health agency, and I will say that if I had the authority to raise these individuals’ wages, I would. They work long, hard hours for little pay, often dealing with difficult patients and thankless families–they’re truly the unsung heroes of the medical world.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for commenting! I was the original poster of this map (stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire), and I cover business and the economy in New Hampshire. Health care, of course, is a huge part of that. If you’re anywhere near New England (or know of someone in your line of work who is), I’d like to talk with you.

      Amanda Loder aloder@nhpr.org

  • BR

    Don’t grow old or get sick in the south.

  • Zdog

    And we wonder how elder abuse happens! The in home workers that care for our elderly have an extremely stressful job and couple that with an inability to make ends meet after working long hours, I see how they may have difficulty keeping their emotions in tact.(not saying it is okay, it is not) The other disparage is between what they make and what the owners of the agencies they work through make — A few years ago we had an in home care giver for mom – the caregiver made $8 and hour yet we were paying the agency $21 and hour – yes, the agency has expenses, but not that much!! Someone is going home with allot of jingle in their pocket and it isn’t the “worker”

    • EmployedLivingInPoverty

      Yep, as a HHA former CNA ( cna didn’t pay off after spending about 700.00 to get certified) Yep we make 8.00 an hour while the agency, mine charges 19.00 an hour. And none of us are working 40 hours a week, NEVER! We are lucky if we can even get 20 hours a week. Some want us to drive out of town to give a bath, which is one hour of work. Well that doesn’t pay out enough, so many refuse. Also finding quality aids is very hard since many leave due to very low wages, low hours, driving many miles and can’t afford to get to some cases, and they want you to work weekends. It’s a joke.

  • Teri S

    My concern, is if they enforce this the cost of healthcare will raise for our families and we will have to cover the increase and a lot of people can barely afford what they pay now……

    • Anonymous

      Hi Teri,

      The rising cost of health care–and whether this rules change will raise it even more–is definitely an issue that’s being raised right now.

      I report on how government policy at the federal and state levels affects business, the economy, and peoples’ pocketbooks in NH. If you’re anywhere near New England–and you’re willing to share–I’d like to talk with you some more about your experiences.

      Amanda Loder aloder@nhpr.org

  • Lhsimm

    Either the color scheme or wording is wrong for Minnesota. I’d like to believe it’s the color.

    • Anonymous

      Hey, thanks for pointing that out. It’s just some web-based hinky-ness that happened. We wound up changing the color scheme to something more intuitive, and so Google’s basically playing catch-up. You’ll need to empty your cache (Shift+refresh) and it should look fine. If not, zoom in just one click, and it should be accurate.

      As for the accuracy, according to White House data, MN offers both overtime and minimum wage for home health workers…does that line-up with what you know about the state?

      • EmployedLivingInPoverty

        Do these workers even get 40 hours a week to begin with? I’m a former CNA currest hha and have NEVER worked 40 hours a week. The agencies make sure that you don’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Benjamin-Foust/1245934880 Benjamin Foust

    this is so awesome. i just cant wait. oh man this is gonna be sweet. free healthcare. they’ve been bitching about the cost of it, and the regulation, and the lack of profit… but they’ve been screwing their own workforce for YEARS now. the only people making money are the bankers i.e. the insurance companies. now its going to be mandatory that we all get insurance and they all provide it… 25% of all tyhe money we earn is going to these guys when healthcare takes effect.

    this is going to be so fucking sweet. i just can’t WAIT!

  • http://twitter.com/jillosopher Jill

    I’m ashamed of my state, Connecticut, for being in the worst category. And… what’s up with Wisconsin and Illinois? They are “striped.”

  • Slavewage

    Independant contractors are exempt from OT and Min Wage.

  • EmployedLivingInPoverty

    I”m a home health worker, it’s poverty, zero consistancy, low pay, zero benefits, and back injuries! Many home health care workers are on welfare due to the low pay, low hours, it’s never regular, you never know what you will make from week to week. Never ever 40 hours. The agencies charge 19.00 hour while we get 8.00 an hour, and at 20 or less hours a week and begging to work more hours, they never have an 8 hour work day for us, we can’t live on it at all. Always looking for our next job.me health worker, it’s poverty, zero consistancy, low pay, zero benefits, and back injuries! I WAS a CNA, Certified, took the classes at $300.00, finger printed $95.00, physical exam plus TB test. 35.00, Certification Exam 95.00. all to be a CNA. Then only get paid $8.00 an hour as a Home Health Aid, you NEVER get CNA wages ever. I had one agency ask me to drive up to another town for a bath, ONE HOUR of work! I said hell no! Many agencies will take advantage of you, send you out of town for 2 hours of work, can’t do it, you don’t make money. Then they want you to work weekends, no way not on this low pay, low hours,inconsistant work hours and zero benefits. Many are injured on the job as well, lifting and moving clients many hurt their backs, yet they have no health insurance, so it’s off to the ER for primary care. Home Health Aid’s need to come together and demand higher pay, health care benefits and a full work week. finding good quality people to work home care is hard, why? The pay is so low and not enought hours or health benefits. I’ve seen all sorts of weird caregivers I would not allow in my home.

  • pld

    I work in New York State for a large home care company which sub contracts out it’s home health aide staffing (conveniently to another subsidiary of our parent company). The aide staff is not adequately compensated but worse than the low pay (in my opinion) is that the aides are expected to drive between clients without compensation for their time. If it takes the aide 10-15 minutes (though it can take considerably longer than that) to drive between patients she can accumulate more than an hour a day that he/she doesn’t get paid for. Sometimes patients in the areas on the outreaches of our service area don’t get covered because aides aren’t willing to donate their time to get there and back.

    • EmployedLivingInPoverty

      YES, I am a HHA and have been asked to drive 55 miles round trip for three hours of work! I said HELL NO! It’s a joke really, I paid to get my CNA paid 700.00, finger printing, background check, tb test, physical, and paid to take the state test, only to work as a HHA for 8.00 an hour at 20 hours or below a week. My employer said your CNA has expired you need to renew, I said, NO WAY I don’t make enough to do that again, after all we are all classified as a HHA anyway.

      • Anonymous

        Hi, I’m one of the reporters who cobbled together the data for this map. I’m definitely interested in this issue, and if you’d like to talk more, you can reach me at: aloder@nhpr.org

        • EmployedLivingInPoverty

          Yes, I would.

        • EmployedLivingInPoverty

          I just sent you an email.

  • See Why

    Staffing agencies receive good money from clients who have long term care insurance and fair money for clients who are on Medicaide or Medicare to cover their services, however, the staff gets a very little portion of that. Furthermore, agencies do not have to comply with licensure (at least in my state) if they offer only homemaking assistance and the pay is even less. But, if the client requires homemaking assistance, they often need other help which borders on and falls into nursing care which a compassionate aide would provide often without proper training, not agency insurance, no oversight or assessment for services needed and of course, no additional pay for those services. Homemaker services can be covered by Medicaide Waiver in some cases. In my state, who owns such a service and knows how to work the system? One of our Americans For Prosperity loving state senators!

    • EmployedLivingInPoverty

      Yes, I am a former CNA meaning I did NOT renew my licnese due to being classified as a HHA but still being sent to cases that required cna duties, only paid a lower wage due to the hha classification. The agencies know how to work the system and cheat us. Plus we never get 40 hours a week, ever. This also gets the agencies off the hook for paying us unemployment benefits when our cases close and we find ourselves with no money coming in at all.

  • EmployedLivingInPoverty

    Also we do not qualify for unemployment benefits due to the low hours they keep us at. And many of us have back injuries due to lifting and moving our patients.

  • David Spring

    I am a caregiver who;s family is on the brink of homelessness and starvation. My company pays me $10 an hour with no overtime, no benefits, no gas compensation or anything else. Social Services claims I make too much to deserve any kind of State aid. I think that map is wrong because I live in Nevada. Although I have worked in this industry in both Oregon and Washington as well under the same conditions. And is if that isn’t bad enough, the amount of abuse that is tolerated is horrific. And if I complain about it, I get fired rather than the company spending the money to fix the problem. This entire industry needs to be better funded and unionized post haste.

    • EmployedLivingInPoverty

      Same here, only I make 8 .00 an hour, work 20 hours a week, and have begged for more cases for four years, and nothing. These agencies hire many workers, more than they need so nobody works full time.

  • D1Ringer

    Doesn’t surprise me about Indiana. If the GOP led by NOT my man Mitch has their way, Right to Work will be enacted and everybody else will pay too!

  • Kdr

    That would explain why I was working over 50 hours a week with no overtime… The agencies charge SO much for workers to be there though, if there were overtime or minimum wage the clients might not even be able to afford care. The agency I work for charges double what I get paid.

  • Bruce Roth

    My 89 year old father has dementia. He has 24 hour care. He lives in California where these laws apply. Even though I don’t want to pay as much as I do, I would rather have people who are treated fairly taking care of him. I take care of him for a week every 5th week and I lay them off. I would never do what they do for someone else for much more than they earn. They have to buy any bennifits they get other than holiday pay. If they rely on public assistance for health care, it is only fair that we pay them that either our family or collectively.

  • J Reay

    Note that the preponderance of states who don’t give a damn are Republican controlled states.

  • Dannydee56

    Having caregived for my Alzheimered friend for 6 years 24/7, it’s not just a “thankless” position but it’s the slowest job a person can have! It’s also dangerous to one’s own health!!!!!

  • Nazani14

    The term “professionals” implies that these workers have some sort of nursing training or an ethical dedication to their work. The ones I’ve met here in VA do not. They are simply good at patronizing seniors. It appears these are jobs of last resort for people, with the only thing less desirable being work in a nursing home. This is one of those cases of “you get what you pay for.”

  • Trenalg

    The people who do the hardest work in this world, those who work assisting needy, dependent, ailing human beings, eg. elderly, disabled, small children, these are the people who get paid the least. They are the least appreciated, the least respected, the least honored. They are patronized, they are ignored. Yet the majority of people depend on them or will depend on them at some point. These are the thankless people behind the scenes, many of whom are waiting, hoping and praying for an eternal reward for their backbreaking work.

  • Flora

    I run operations for a large non-profit home care company in Texas. Our state professional organization says this change will hurt home care companies and will not help because providers will just stop scheduling workers for overtime or 24 hour shifts which has been the only way workers could increase their earnings. But,there are much bigger problems here. Most of the services we provide are paid for by Medicaid. For those direct service workers employed by our agency, we can only pay $7.25 to $8 per hour and stay within the state reimbursement rates. To pay our administrative expenses and meet all state licensure requirements for training, provide accident coverage, client coordination, screening, hiring and staffing, we lose over a dollar an hour on every hour of service in Medicaid. We make this up through a large line of credit and fund raising. And we still cannot afford health insurance for our home care staff (we provide a tele-health service at $45/mnth per employee). According to Texas’ Center for Public Public Policy Priorities’ Family Budget Estimator, it takes $11 an hour in most Texas cities to afford health care, child care and a modest apartment. And the bigger conundrum is that home care is far more cost effective than nursing home care with better outcomes, but the private pay rate is $18 per hour, putting it out of reach of most Texans without significant subsidies. Texas Medicaid pays under $12 per hour. The Texas job growth “miracle” has been largely low wage. We have no state income tax. This is part of the reason our revenue is inadequate to support these programs. Just before Christmas, I had to inform many consumers in our Consumer Directed Service programs (persons in need of home care can hire their own staff and we act as their payroller and fiscal intermediary with Medicaid) that they would have to cut their staff wages due to state budget reductions. Overhead is eliminated in these programs so wages can be higher – just over $9 per hour. I don’t have a silver bullet, but we pay overtime and always have. We cover our employees with an accident policy that exceeds the Texas Workers Comp policy benefits and always have. Exempting these workers from minimum labor laws that most have enjoyed for decades is not the answer and continuing these exemptions will not destroy the industry.

  • Jesus

    Looks like a red state-blue state issue…not surprised.

  • Captin

    It’s not so easy for investors to scam some of the money away from home health care so they are out to kill it. Voters in certain regions are more likely to support the party that supports the health care thieves (investors).

  • Captin

    Our health care system is rum primarily by for profit companies. Their goal is profit not my health or yours. They get a percentage of every dollar spent so when costs go up they just take more dollars. The only incentive they have to cut cost is to deny care when they might have to pay out and that payout would diminish their profit.

  • J Reay

    If you depend on any governmental body, federal or not, to help cover these costs, and it appears many in the health care industry do, you cannot, out of compassion for your fellow man (in generic terms) vote for a Republican; because they do not.

  • http://profiles.google.com/collinsej John Collins

    America despises its workers. The incomes of the working poor is always being deliberately undermined with low-wage immigrant workers (legal and illegal). They are denied health care welfare have benefits – while people on social security and have excellent free healthcare. And to add insult to injury, they are told that it is their fault they are poor.

    Let’s fix this problem. Raise the minimum wage (it is $16 an hour in Australia). Open up millions of jobs by encouraging the illegals to go home, and cutting legal immigration.

    Sure we might have to pay more for tomatoes and health care assistants. However, if you aren’t willing to do that to help your neighbor, you don’t belong in my country.

  • SBH

    My home is in Ocala, Florida, where EMTs’ starting pay is less than $9.00 per hour. Is that any way to treat someone who might be saving your life one day?

  • frustratedHHCP

    I’ve worked in various facets of personal care for many years. I chose this field and never expected to get rich from it, but living on 18 hours a week is impossible. I find the expectations HHCPs work under can seem near impossible to complete. Between the dysfunctional families, the caseworkers, as well as being on call 24/7 in order to *hopefully* gain more hours as a fill in, I’m questioning how I might otherwise serve these individuals. I’ve certainly spent more than a few hours longer with my clients than I’ve been paid for in order to complete all the tasks I’ve been assigned and properly serve the client personal needs.

  • Rmoore

    This is not a simple issue. An elderly person who has help come into the home is not an island. If they have adult children, there is a 70% chance that those children live over 50 miles away. The circumstances of each family and individual can vary dramatically. There are definitely families who can afford a higher cost for a live-in caregiver for their parent. On the other hand, if the cost goes up even a little, there will be many families who have to reduce the number of hours or end the service all together.

    From the Caregiver perspective, a single caregiver who lives at the home with the patient by definition does not have to maintain a household and the “room and board” are part of the bargain and are not accounted for in the discussion about compensation. The argument for keeping the price lower is that more families can afford to hire a caregiver that gives their loved one the attention and help they need and the privacy and dignity of care from a trained person instead of having to disrupt their life and move in with family at a distance or go without the needed services. The loss of that job opportunity does not help the worker.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Fetter/100000428443046 Jim Fetter

    Americans should all become private contractors, sole proprietorship workers. That way we would bid on jobs and tell employers what kind of pay we would expect to do that job, or it don’t get done for them. Every American worker would have a license like their drivers license to prove they are legal to bid on work.
    People who constantly underbid would eventually go out of business for their foolishness in not asking enough to live on. So that scenario would not work for long!
    Business would have to pay a living wage to get things done, or go out of business, and if they go out of the United States to hire slave labor in third world nations, their items would have a heavy import tax to make up for the difference. So there would be no reason to leave America and go elsewhere to hire cheap labor, and produce cheap quality goods.

  • Cherri Brown

    Ms. Loder, will you please post companion overlay maps that show political leanings, rankings in education, salaries, and population by age, and religion preferences, please? Thank you.

  • Blackmarketpandas

    Oddly, It looks just like the breakdown of Republican and Democrat carried states.

  • Bombeck

    This very brief article only addresses the requirements of law, not what workers are actually receiving. I wonder if they are the same or if some.

  • Flintpeak

    While the country is examining this flaky care system with unfair pay, weed out the relatives of some these ‘workers’ who get on the books and are paid as caregivers and also have other jobs. They aren’t actually putting in the time giving care or being with the patients. Nobody knows the difference, and the family keeps it to themselves. Waste, fraud and abuse exist in this system like all the others. It’s money that should be going to people who need the work for real for people who really need help.

  • Larry Arwood

    This isn’t about north and south. For the most part it is about democrats and republicans.

  • http://profiles.google.com/collinsej John Collins

    America despises its workers. The incomes of the working poor is always being deliberately undermined with low-wage immigrant workers (legal and illegal). They are denied health care welfare have benefits – while people on social security and have excellent free healthcare. And to add insult to injury, they are told that it is their fault they are poor.

    Let’s fix this problem. Raise the minimum wage (it is $16 an hour in Australia). Open up millions of jobs by encouraging the illegals to go home, and cutting legal immigration.

    Sure we might have to pay more for tomatoes and health care assistants. However, if you aren’t willing to do that to help your neighbor, you don’t belong in my country.

  • http://twitter.com/Rickste Rick Horn

    surprising states-Oregon and Iowa and on the other side Montana. Not surprising at all that the solid south remains solidly south

  • OfficiallyGray

    how many of you are even buisness owners to say how much should be getting paid? whos the gov to tell me how much i need to pay people? the problem is that people rely on the gov. for help when the could honestly give no less for you or me. this still goes back to when banks were giving people money they didnt have to spend. employers are being killed by these back door taxes our government is raising. when congress tries to take control they only lose control then look for someone else to hang it on.

  • Drr3azrn

    Our country give millions even billions to other countries but refuses to take care of its own citizens properly. It’s time to get MAD and stop ignoring the injustice blindly going about our daily routines. The future is bleak for future generations. WAKE UP AMERICA!

  • Matthew

    I am a person with a significant disability who relies on people coming into my home to assist me with my daily needs. I would have to live in group home or a nursing home without my wonderful staff. I am a part of this new concept in caregiving which is called Human Service Cooperatives or HSCs for short. Basically, I am a member of a member-owned co-op that hires people to provide in-home support services for me. The co-op is “owned” by people with disabilities and family members of people with disabilities: those who use the services, and so have a great say in how this agency is managed and run. Just as the many for-profit agencies do, the co-op relies on the State of Arizona’s reimbursement rates, which were cut by 15% in the last few years, to pay our direct support staff. Currently, our pay rate is around $8/hr (with a reimbursement of around $12/hr which only just keeps us in the black) which is just plain horrible and it’s difficult to keep good staff. However, my staff have said the co-op is the best agency to work for in town. I have the opportunity to interview people before they come into my home and no other agency I have used – despite what they promise – has ever provided me with a choice. This is very important to me because I have a 9 year old son. I am very grateful to the wonderful people of Inspire HSC.

    I feel very strongly that this family- and person- (who uses the services) owned and run co-operative model is the best way to truly meet the needs of those who rely upon such services. It is arguably the most efficient use of limited tax payer dollars in that it actually meets the needs of those for whom the money is intended and doesn’t line the pockets of individuals or agencies at the expense of the people they “serve”. In fact, in-home support services saves the State and Federal Government (ie: taxpayers such as myself) so much money by serving people in their own homes rather than in group homes or nursing homes. There are about 6 to 8 HSCs around the country and they are organized around different types of services. Please follow this link to learn more about HSCs: http://www.federatedhsc.coop/

    People who receive these services, their families, and their direct support staff need to spread the word about how vital these services are – and about how many people rely upon them. No-one who reads this is far removed from actually being in my “wheels”. Disability is non-discriminatory in whom it touches and will become ever less so with an aging population. We need to share our stories and, accordingly, we need to VOTE!

  • Beaniedenusa

    A lot of Seniors move to the South because it’s more afordable in many ways. Labor is one reason.
    I am a caregiver in AR, work from 50 to 95 hours a week, no overtime, I had a $0.70 raise in 8 years. I make a living, I think the law should be fair to all employees, everyone deserves a fair pay and overtime. They will need to hire more people, and that will generate more jobs. I don’t care working overtime without getting paid for it, like everybody else.

  • http://moravings.blogspot.com/ Mo Rage

    Sick. We are a sick, sick country. It was nice when we used to see the value in having and supporting a middle class, wasn’t it? Where did that go?

    Oh, that’s right. We worshipped Ronnie the Ray-gun and eventually, the wealthy.

    It’s tough to not be cynical about this sick, selfish, war-mongering, always-fearful nation we’ve become.

    Mo Rage
    the blog

  • da doggett

    Louisiana only pays federal minimun wage $7.25 per hour and now some companies want you to be self employed as a home caregiver!! we will never support our families in this field. Its really ashame at how money grubbing this state is.

  • jack

    for the comments about how Northern states are so much better off….From someone who has lived in both places, Southern states do not pay workers because of the beauty and great weather we get here, as opposed to Northern states, if pay wasn’t higher, there would be no reason nor a draw to attract and retain it’s residents. Who in the hell would live there if it weren’t higher! Also, I notice from your map that Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island do not pay over minimum wage or overtime, but also not a Southern State.

  • Dirt

    Hmm. most of those states that are in blue are bankrupt, wonder why?

  • karenbartle

    As a home health worker from Arkansas, I can see that I need to move west! It is getting hard to live and save anything here in Arkansas even though my living expenses are low. Points on you SS build really slow and minimum wage so one prays not to become disabled in any way.

  • sweetspirit7201

    The underpaying of the caregivers{mostly women over fifty}in the senior care field is a sad and under the carpet sin in this country.I meet these ladies, who have no health care ,no dental,and are being paid 8.00 and 9.00 an hour to care for our parents and grandparents and no one seems to care.The owners of the agencies get rich and the caregivers get the shaft…Big surprise!

  • 2014Rngrad

    I been providing home health care for 7 years now, i really enjoy the one on one care that i render however i drive and work 13 hours a day but get compensated for 5-6 hrs a day, no health insurance, no vacation pay, no paid time off, no travel pay, no cell phone reimbursement, no wear and tear on personal vehicle pay. I really hope Obama change this. We can pay 5000 for court-side tickets at a Laker’s game but we allow our home health workers who travel in rain sleet or snow stand in the welfare line for medicaid and food stamps just to be turned around. Damn i love america in my Bernie Mac voice!!

  • missy

    I work in this industry. Minnesota is okay wage wise but we still don’t have any benefits of any kind. Overtime is a joke. We are not suppose to go over 48 hours a week as then they have to pay. But if you are in a situation where your forced to go over they won’t pay you anything. Its like those hours are erased. You work for nothing. You make sure you watch your hours. The state cut back on what they pay the agencies and they in turn cut us back. But the people still need the same amount of care they did before.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bosko-Dewlapp/1734056001 Bosko Dewlapp

    This whole wage business IGNORES the fact that states like Texas and the southern states are MUCH MUCH cheaper to live in. The winters are mild and property is cheap and grocery prices are less.

    It costs TWICE as much to live in California or New York as it does in the south. If California’s and NY’s minimum wage is not 14 Dollars an hour, then they are the scumbags.

  • Danny Wilson

    My girlfriend just left for work. She will drive 14 miles to her patients home. She will be their for 4 hours. She will then drive home. At 9:00pm tonight she will go back to her patiens home and be their for 2 hours. She is paid no travel time. She is paid no mileage.
    She is paid 8.50 per hour. She went to college for 4 years for this! WOW!!!

  • kiddtrish

    im a caregiver but as must people call it texas texas home health service provider… i work and help out my uncle because he is disabled.. but on the other hand i dont get paid enough to go shopping for him i live in texas and they keep cutting my check every month i get paid sometimes 130 every two weeks i dont get paid enough for all the work i do they dont pay me on time they are always late past month they been 10 to 15 days late i wish they would atleast get pay role to do there job they always pay texas caregivers late i made severial complaints lukin office and dallas offices keep giving me the run around ..

    • kiddtrish

      im also afraid i have to quit to find a differnt job to help pay groceries… and have some stranger help my uncle :( its my job but my job is helping our finiacial situation

  • kentucky girl

    do ya’ all have ADD ?

  • kentucky girl

    I have never been on social media because I find a topic that seems interesting and then it trails into name calling and topic switches. I find myself reading then I start to get caught up in opinions and all the objectivity goes out the window …like watching a SOAP…can someone help me find unbiased political web sights like “the other america radio?”

  • kentucky girl

    Well isnt name calling exactly what your doing?

  • kentucky girl

    What do you mean unbiased political…there is no such thing!

  • kentucky girl

    Other Americas…are you a commie?

  • kentucky girl

    Go back to listening to radio!!!

  • kentucky girl

    hey , I was just trying to make a point….I have ADD!!!!

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