Cuomo: End Government-Sponsored Sweatshops Now!
Under a New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) emergency regulation issued in October 2017, home care agencies can force home attendants to work a 24-hour shift but only pay them for 13 of those hours. The DOL issued this emergency regulation just weeks after home attendants who had been organizing for years to end these 24-hour shifts with no night pay announced legal victories in three separate NYS court decisions—all ruling that home attendants should be paid for all the hours they work.

The emergency regulation allows the agencies to evade the court rulings. Home attendants are unable to leave the patients; home during a 24-hour shift. Some work these shifts for as many as five or six days a week. Most are unable to sleep through the night, affecting not only workers; health but the quality of care they are able to provide for the elderly, sick and disabled patients.

Home attendants say the regulation is modern day slavery—forcing thousands of mostly immigrant women and women of color to toil all night without pay in patients’ homes in a system of abuse and coercion in which home care agencies use threats of firing or imprisonment should anything happen to the patient during a 24-hour shift.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo can step in and right the wrong of the NYS DOL.

We demand Governor Cuomo:

1. Order the DOL to rescind the emergency regulation and stop resisting against the court’s rulings,
2. Ensure no other legislation similar to the emergency regulation is used to enslave home
attendants and abuse patients, and
3. Declare a 24-hour workday is illegal—patients requiring 24 hours of care should be provided
split shifts of 12 hours each to allow home attendants time to rest and patients to receive
proper care.

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