06-18-2018  8:20 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Black Pioneers Host ‘Celebrate History and Make a Difference Now!’ Event June 9

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Genealogical Forum of Oregon Hosts ‘Starting Your Genealogy’ Workshop

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Literary Arts Offers Writers of Color Fellowship

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Oregon dog that survived 2 gunshot wounds finds new home

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Man found shot to death at high school track in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police say a man was found shot to death on a high school track.Officers responded before 5 a.m. Sunday to the temporary site of Grant High School. The school is using the former Marshall High School campus as it undergoes a renovation.Authorities did not...

Oregon dog that survived 2 gunshot wounds finds new home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A dog that was shot twice and left for dead in a rugged area of northeast Oregon has been given a new home.KATU-TV reports the dog named Rez was found in the mountains near Pendleton, Oregon, in February covered in blood from two bullet wounds in the head, causing him...

Appeals court overturns dismissal of jail deaths lawsuit

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — The relatives of two of three people who died while in the custody of a jail in southern Washington will be able to continue pursuing a negligence lawsuit in federal court.The Daily News reports a federal appeals court earlier this month overturned a lower court's...

OPINION

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

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Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...

Black Women Are Changing the Tide of American Politics

Black women voters will make the difference in the midterm elections and the future of American politics ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Celeb chef Samuelsson to open restaurant in Miami's Overtown

OVERTOWN, Fla. (AP) — Chef Marcus Samuelsson has bought a former pool hall in Overtown, a historic black neighborhood in Miami, with plans to open a restaurant.He hopes his project will contribute to a multimillion-dollar revitalization effort already under way.Samuelsson, a James Beard...

The Latest: Top teams have trouble winning at World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):11:35 p.m.Parity has come to the World Cup.Five of the top six nations in the FIFA rankings have played, and none has won. Only two of the top dozen teams have victories.Top-ranked Germany lost to No. 15 Mexico,...

Maryland Democratic primary has 2 black candidates leading

BALTIMORE (AP) — With two leading candidates who have a shot at becoming Maryland's first black governor, the crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary reflects the state's changing demographics and the party's efforts to harness the energy of an increasingly diverse electorate around the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Warner Bros. crackdown puts Dark Mark over Potter festivals

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Warner Bros. is cracking down on local Harry Potter fan festivals around the country, saying it's necessary to halt unauthorized commercial activity. Fans, however, liken the move to Dementors sucking the joy out of homegrown fun, while festival directors say they'll...

Cornell's daughter pays tribute to late rocker with duet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Cornell's daughter has released a recording of a duet with her late father as part of an emotional tribute to the late rocker on Father's Day.Toni Cornell released the duet of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" on Sunday along with a note thanking her dad for his...

Jay-Z, Beyonce release surprise album 'Everything Is Love'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jay-Z and Beyonce are keeping up a family tradition, dropping a surprise album before anyone knew it was coming.The couple released a joint album that touches on the rapper's disgust at this year's Grammy Awards and features a shout out from their daughter Blue Ivy to her...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Thomas Markle says Prince Harry said to give Trump a chance

LONDON (AP) — The father of the former Meghan Markle says he talked politics with Prince Harry over the...

Global warming cooks up 'a different world' over 3 decades

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Trump adviser Roger Stone reveals new meeting with Russian

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining a previously undisclosed meeting between...

Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

GENEVA (AP) — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health...

Peek at the future: Electric plane cruises skies over Norway

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway's transportation minister and the head of the Scandinavian country's...

2 Koreas agree to march together at Asian Games

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Athletes from the rival Koreas will march together under a single flag in the...

Annalyn Kurtz

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The fastest growing job in America pays poorly. Meet home health care aides.

These nearly 2 million (mostly minorities and women) workers do everything from prepare meals and clean homes, to bathe and change bedpans for elderly and disabled patients.

As Baby Boomers age, this job is expected to explode, growing 70 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Labor Department. That makes it the single fastest growing job in the United States, according to their forecasts.

Call it the silver tsunami. Roughly every eight seconds, a Baby Boomer turns 65. And that has led to surging demand for in-home care.

"This isn't just a surge, a one-time hiring spurt. This is something we will do this year and into the future," said Paul Hogan, chairman of Home Instead Senior Care, which alone plans to hire 45,000 caregivers in North America this year. "It's all driven by the growth in the senior population."

But even though there are plenty of job opportunities, many of these people make the same wage as teenagers flipping burgers or selling clothes at the mall. The average hourly wage is just $9.70 an hour, according to the Labor Department.

For those in the industry who work full-time, this amounts to roughly $20,000 a year. Many health care aides only work part-time though -- and they do not receive benefits.

Under these conditions, it's no surprise then that about 40 percent of home aides rely on public assistance, such as Medicaid and food stamps, just to get by.

"What you have is a situation here where the people that we count on to care for our families cannot take care of their own, and that's got to change," said Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

How did this happen?

Many home health care aides are exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime laws, due to a little-known provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1974, which puts them in the same category as casual babysitters. The Obama administration has been trying to change that over the past two years, but its efforts have been met fiercely with lobbying from the industry.

While some states have since passed greater protections for home aides, a survey by the National Domestic Workers Alliance shows roughly a quarter of these workers still make less than the federal minimum wage.

Mary Headlam, 63, is a Jamaican immigrant who takes care of 98-year-old Seymour. She lives in his home in Tenafly, N.J. and earns about $750 for working seven days a week. It's not much, but she finds her work now far more fulfilling than her previous job working in a department store.

"The job is rewarding. It gives you the opportunity to work with people who cannot take care of themselves," she said. When asked her about her wages, she said she's comfortable and thankful for the place to live.

Like Headlam, the majority of home health care aides are minorities and women, and many are foreign born.

A recent study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research estimates immigrants make up 28% of home health care workers, and of those, one in five are undocumented.

The Census Bureau has found that 53 percent of home health aides are minorities. By their calculations, it is the single most common job for black women, who alone represent nearly a third of the entire profession.

This is part of the reason workers are undervalued and underpaid, say worker advocates like Eileen Boris, a professor of feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

"Caring for people is not the same as flipping hamburgers, and the fact that as an economy we value them the same, I think is a testimony to the devaluing of work associated with women, intimacy and the historical association of caring for people with slavery," she said. Boris is the co-author of the book Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State.

Many of these workers are also not as educated -- often with no more than a high school diploma. So it would make sense that these workers have far less bargaining power against the large associations and companies lobbying against a change.

The industry does face other price pressures which keep wages low.

Keeping the cost of home care affordable for the elderly is key. Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts due to healthcare reform as well as state budget constraints are also a factor .

"There is a delicate balance between how much seniors and their families can afford -- because they have limited resources -- and how much is appropriate to pay a caregiver," Home Instead Senior Care's Hogan said.

The industry argues that if they're forced to pay minimum wage and overtime, they'll have to restrict workers' hours to 40 hours a week or less. That could actually lead to a reduction in pay for live-in workers. They also fiercely dispute the government's claim that it would only cost an extra $166 per worker a year to comply with federal minimum wage and overtime regulations.

"It's going to increase costs, and it's going to make things more difficult at all levels," said Val Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. "A lot of these individuals could end up losing these jobs."

- CNNMoney video producer Jordan Malter and CNN correspondent Zain Asher contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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