The View from Away article by the Los Angeles Times (“In-home domestic caregivers need basic job protections,” Aug. 8) paints a harsh picture of the home care industry, and needs to be refuted.

I have no knowledge regarding California labor laws, but I do know that Maine is far more stringent regarding regulations for in-home caregivers. In Maine, licensed home care agencies are mandated by law to carry worker compensation insurance and professional liability insurance. Many also carry fidelity bonds as well. Employees must be certified and pass a criminal background check.

Home care employees who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay.

The cost of these necessary safeguards for home care workers and the people they serve can be significant, but they can also be controlled. For example, an agency with little staff turnover has better trained, more experienced employees and thus has fewer claims. This results in lower premiums and subsequently lower costs to consumers.

If an agency is not burdened by unreasonable administrative expenses and excessive franchise costs, and if it is well managed and its finances carefully budgeted, it can afford to pay its employees well above the minimum wage, and even issue bonuses from time to time for exceptional work.

This results in satisfied employees who remain on the job because they are being paid a decent wage, and know that their work is meaningful and appreciated.

Perhaps California can learn something from Maine.

Donald F. Brann

Renaissance Quality Home Care


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