Immigrants and Minimum Wage

Some board and care homes are giving the senior care business a bad name in their mistreatment of immigrants.

There is an ugly side to immigration and low-wage workers in the senior care market. Bad people exist everywhere, and it is as difficult to keep them out of our business as it is in any other.

There was a recent story about small board and care homes, usually under 10 beds, where immigrants work, usually 12 hour shifts or more, and often 6 to 7 days a week. And they often stay overnight to be “on call.” And that, apparently, happens a lot. And a large portion of these board and care homes are in California. There are some good ones, but it is the bad ones that get all the bad PR. Isn’t that always the case?

But here’s the rub. Because of the extra hours worked, many are effectively paid between $2.00 to $4.00 per hour. No benefits, no sick days, no vacation days. It is called “wage theft,” a new term for me. And their employers are apparently getting caught.

Obviously, it is not you who engage in these practices. But others do. And it just heightens the idea that immigrants are exploited in the labor force. So, do me a favor. Go find these board and care homes, and hire their employees and pay them a real wage. They will probably stay with you for years.  


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