Care home owners: Labor laws must change

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 30, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – 6Beds Inc. is an organization of care home owners who are dedicated to providing a safe and affordable environment for California seniors and disabled adults.

They are in Sacramento to advocate for legislation of labor laws concerning the recent investigations of wage theft among caregivers.

“This rally is to focus on the labor issues, which are critical for our industry,” said Dr. Ronald Simpson, SoCal President of 6Beds. “In fact, if we don’t solve this problem, it will bury this industry, and this option will not be available for the elderly and the disabled adults that we care for in RCFE and ARF homes.”

6Beds say they make it a priority to ensure that all care home owners fairly compensate their workers.

“They need to have a fair wage, and we want that,” said Simpson. “But it also needs to be done in a way that’s practical – that our labor costs don’t put us out of business because all the people in our homes can’t afford to be there anymore.”

These care home owners want the U.S. Department of Labor to recognize that the labor laws must change.

“We need to realize there are SSI payments and monthly ranges only range from $1,700 to $3,000 dollars,” said Janet Baena Valencia, NorCal President of 6Beds Inc. “If you’re asking a care home to pay each caregiver $7,000 dollars a month, I don’t know where we’re going to get the money to pay all that on top of our other expenses that we have occurred.”

Even though this rally was for care home owners from all over California, some Filipino caregivers were also present to support their employers by standing in solidarity with them.

“I support the care home owners, because if their businesses are not profitable, not only do the residents suffer, but the caregivers suffer as well,” said John, a caregiver.

“Everybody needs to work, so they’re helping out a lot,” said Maria Hernandez, another caregiver. “So I’m here to support them.”

6Beds Inc. plans on reaching out to all care home owners in California to become members, so all facilities can be in full compliance with the regulations set forth by the California Department of Social Services.

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