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The first Monday of September, Americans celebrate the workers who make our country strong.
On Labor Day, we are proud of the traditions that brought us the eight-hour work day, paid vacation and sick days and minimum wage and overtime protections.
These basic labor standards helped to make our country the wealthiest in the world by creating a vast middle class able to buy the goods and services that kept our economy growing.
Unfortunately, 129 years after the first Labor Day celebrations, more and more American workers find themselves without some of these basic labor protections.
Amazingly, the fastest-growing occupations in the country — personal care and home health aides — are explicitly excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage and overtime protections.
As a result, the 1.7 million workers who provide care and assistance to our frail and disabled family members are among the most poorly paid workers in our nation.
In 1974, the Fair Labor Standards Act was updated to include most domestic workers, such as cooks, maids and yard workers.
However, companions for the elderly were exempted. At the time, long-term services and supports for elders and people with disabilities were primarily provided in skilled nursing facilities.
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