Caregiving can be a very hard profession. Many work their eight hours and end up staying later because they struggle to leave. There is always someone that needs to be taken care of, and there may not be anyone else to do it. Some caregivers work ten to twelve-hour days so that they don’t have to work five days every week.
Besides working long hours, the job can be stressful. Some caregivers deal with life and death situations all day long. Those who work in nursing homes deal with people who are very ill. Even those that work as a personal caregiver have days that are stressful. Many get attached to the people that they are taking care of, and this can take a toll on them.
That being said, these caregivers deserve to be paid fairly. They work hard so they should be able to live comfortably off of their income. However, the truth is that this isn’t always the case. In fact, in 2014, several caregivers filed a class action claim against their employer Kindred Healthcare and its partners.
What were the caregivers fighting for?
On June 18, several caregivers filed the class action claim on behalf of all of the employees that were employed, all over California. They basically said that they felt cheated on their wages, overtime pay, and the right to take breaks.
Ginger Rogers, who had been in the field for twenty-five years, was hired in 2012 by Kindred Healthcare. She started at a Castro Valley nursing facility. When she asked her supervisor about taking her lunch break, she was told that she couldn’t leave the patient’s bedside. She was also told that she wasn’t allowed to take coffee breaks either.
Besides the fact that employees weren’t allowed to take any breaks during the day, they weren’t being paid fairly. Whether they worked twelve or twenty-four-hour shifts, when their flat-rate pay was broken down, they were paid less than six dollars an hour. This is well below the minimum wage.
All employees who work more than eight hours a day deserve to be compensated for it. They should be paid time and a half for every hour that they work over eight hours. This wasn’t the case for Kindred Healthcare. When Emma Delores Hawkins requested her overtime pay, she was told that they don’t have it.
What does this mean for caregivers?
Following the ruling in 2014, all California caregivers deserve to be paid fairly. They deserve to be paid hourly, instead of a flat rate. If they prefer a flat rate, it should be more than minimum wage. Caregivers should also be compensated for overtime and be allowed to take coffee, restroom, and lunch breaks.
So, what can you do if you aren’t being paid fairly?
If you don’t believe that you are being paid fairly and your employer doesn’t allow for overtime pay, it may be time to take some action. Here at Aiman-Smith & Marcy, we are proud of our dedicated lawyers and attorneys who will make sure that all California caregivers are being paid properly for their hard work.
Don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys today at 510-817-2711 or online to schedule your free consultation. We will be glad to talk to you about your case and options so that you can make the right decision for you. If (and when) you decide to fight back, we will be there with you every step of the way.