the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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Ensuring Fair Pay for Homecare Workers

Summary: 
President Obama announces his support for a law to extend overtime pay protections and a guaranteed minimum wage to homecare workers.
20111215 President Obama with Pauline Beck

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on new minimum wage/overtime protections for in-home care workers at a “We Can’t Wait” event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, Dec. 15, 2011. Among the workers joining the President was Pauline Beck, right, a home care worker from California who, in 2007, was shadowed by then Senator Obama as part of an event called “Walk a Day in My Shoes.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Four years ago, President Obama spent the day with Pauline Beck, a home health care worker. He followed her throughout her day -- as she got up at 5:00 in the morning to care for an 86-year-old amputee. He saw first-hand the demands of her work.

Their business is a growing industry -- one of the fastest in America. As the population of this country gets older, more Americans are turning to people like Pauline Beck to help make sure they have the care they need. And as the President said this morning, "As the homecare business has changed over the years, the law hasn’t changed to keep up." In the eyes of the law, homecare workers fall into the same category as a teenaged babysitter.

20111215 President Obama on Home Care Workers

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on new minimum wage/overtime protections for in-home care workers at a “We Can’t Wait” event in Room 430 of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, Dec. 15, 2011. Attendees include: Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Karen Kulp, President & CEO Home Care Associates; and home care workers: Pauline Beck, Thelma Reta, Iterra Blackshear, Tracy Dudzinski, Manuela Butler, Elma Wauneetta Phillips, Bertie Caraway, Margaret Glover, Elva Munoz, Michelle Wise, Olive Nanette Lyons, April Jones-Britt, Martha Cobos, and Gilda Brown; and home care employers: Sascha M. Bittner and Robin L. Shaffert. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

So today, the President did something to help homecare workers like Pauline Beck. He announced his support of a law to extend overtime pay protections and a guaranteed minimum wage to those who do this work:

We are going to make sure that over a million men and women in one of the fastest-growing professions in the country don’t slip through the cracks. We’re going to make sure that companies who do right by their workers aren’t undercut by companies who don’t. We’re going to do what’s fair, and we’re going to do what’s right.

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Watch President Obama's full remarks here.