When a parent needs to quit a job to care for a disabled child, the financial impact can be profound. The government program that pays that parent instead of an outside caregiver can be a boon to both the family and taxpayers; In-home care at $13 an hour is much cheaper than institutional care.
Yet all those in-home caregivers are racking up significant overtime: About $14 million a year. And the federal government is mandating that they be paid for their overtime at time-and-a-half pay.
So seeing as we are in a state of financial crisis, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Sunday imposed a ban on overtime unless it is an emergency. Only those unable to find another worker to cover the hours at regular pay would be approved for emergency OT.
What is odd about all this is the parent’s multiple roles. The two moms profiled recently are in the roles of parent, caregiver and caregiver supervisor. They care for their disabled children as parents. They are paid to care for their children as a caregiver. They are responsible for finding someone else to care for their children when they are out of hours.
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A program intended to help families has blurred the lines so that a shop steward mentality has been introduced into motherhood. Mom is a worker getting disabled kids ready for school, then still on the clock when the kids are at school, but off the clock when the kids come home from school? Being a parent at night is overtime? Maybe the parent should clock out while the kids are at school.
The feds love telling the states how to conduct their business, and the next thing you know mom is on strike because the working conditions are oppressive and she gets no respect.
Maybe there should have long ago been a United Parenting Workers of America to step in to save Mom. Watch out for aunts and uncles coming in as scab labor during her strike.