It’s reported that over 800 out of 2,000 surveyed home care workers in the state of Oregon reported that they had not received paychecks on time. There are an estimated 30,000 personal support and home care workers operating in the state, most of whom support elderly or disabled clients through a couple of state managed programs.
If 40 percent of the total home care workers are not receiving their paychecks on time, it can be having a significant impact on their ability to pay bills, deal with financial stress, and can cause valuable employees to leave the industry completely.
This is one of the reasons why some decided to stake a rally outside the Department of Human Services in Salem to demand that the agency take these slow payments seriously.
According to The Charlotte Observer in its blog by The Associate Press, State home care workers in Oregon protest late pay:
“Hundreds of state home care workers in Oregon reported receiving late paychecks from the Department of Human Services, sometimes leaving employees in a state of financial uncertainty.
Nearly 50 home care workers rallied outside DHS headquarters in Salem this week to demand the agency address what they say is a systemic flaw in the state’s payroll system, the Statesman Journal reported.
“We need to see real solutions from the state to address its out-of-date payroll system,” said Rebecca Sandoval, a home care worker from Medford and vice president of the union that represents home care workers. “The current system is creating a financial crisis for too many home care and personal support workers. All workers deserve to be paid on time.””
In a statement, DHS spokeswoman Sherryll Johnson Hoar said that the agency is “committed to ensuring that personal support and home care workers, who are so crucial to the people we serve, are paid on time and compensated for all of their work.”
These home care workers have bills to pay, people who depend on them and the paychecks they bring in, and deserve to be paid on time, just as any other worker would receive their pay when expected. Oregon’s Department of Human Services may have a situation to address, but the longer the problem extends for, the more home care providers it affects, the more it can negatively impact the entire industry in that state.
Already grappling with a potential shortage of home care workers, these problems compound the difficulty in finding and retaining valuable home care aides which means disabled and elderly clients in need could find themselves struggling without necessary help at some point in the future.
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