Video: The Story Behind Home Attendants Fighting Back

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NY1 Noticias: Workers who care for the sick at home demand better working conditions

Watch the NY1 Noticias coverage of our May 9 Protest at the NYS Department of Labor here.

English translation below:

By Spectrum Noticias NY1  |  May 9, 2018 @7:32 PM

 A group of home care workers sue the State Department of Labor for a regulation they consider unfair.

Employees are against an emergency resolution by the agency, for which they are paid only 13 hours of work, when in fact, according to them they work 24 hours.

The measure of the labor department, according to the demonstrators, represents an infraction of the labor laws of the State, forcing the workers to stay 24-hour shifts, without remuneration for the hours worked during the night.

For some, regulation affects both employees and patients.

“Nowadays what I have found is that I can not do anything practically, because I have the whole nervous system damaged, the dream, everything,” said one worker.

“When I worked 24 hours, it was like I was in a jail, it’s depressing, they gave me very difficult cases,” said a former worker.

“We only want to work 12 hours, which are 12 and 12, so that we can rest”, added another worker.

According to the protesters, city agencies are instructing workers not to respond to the needs of patients at night and call 911 if there is an emergency.

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Home Care and Other Workers Sue NYS Department of Labor for Bringing Modern-day Slavery to NY State

On Wednesday May 9th, home attendants, other workers, women’s groups and patient advocates, will announce a lawsuit against the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) challenging its emergency regulation that sanctions a 24-hour work day while only paying for 13 hours. The DOL regulation violates the state’s own labor laws and furthermore, may violate the 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution by forcing workers to stay in patients’ homes without overnight pay.
Home attendants, 89% of whom are women, say the new regulation is bringing modern-day slavery to the state and harming patients just as much as the workers. For example, some agencies are now instructing home attendants to not respond to the patients’ needs at night and to call 911 if there is an emergency. Workers are unable to leave the patients’ home during a 24-hour shift and most are unable to sleep through the night, affecting not only workers’ health but also the quality of care they are able to provide for elderly, sick and disabled patients.
Workers and supporters will urge Governor Cuomo to rescind the emergency regulation and to stop all efforts to legislate a 24-hour workday for home attendants.
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NY1 Reports: Home Attendants Demand Cuomo Stand With Workers!

On Friday, 1/5, home attendants, women’s and patients advocates, and members of the Ain’t I A Woman Campaign held a press conference in front of the NYS Department of Labor to demand that Governor Cuomo rescind new Department of Labor regulations that legalize the 24-hour work day and the nonpayment of half those hours. Friday marked the opening arguments of the campaign’s petition to the NYS Industrial Board of Appeals (IBA) to challenge these regulations.

Check out the coverage of the event in NY1:

English-language coverage

Spanish-language coverage

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