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After months of not receiving a paycheck, home care workers filed into the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors meeting Jan. 24 and voiced their frustration with a broken payroll system that has denied them the most basic treatment: getting paid on time.
A backlog of late paychecks to home care workers has led to eviction, PG&E, and water shutoff notices.
Many workers have been forced to borrow money from friends and family, succumb to predatory payday loans at 466% interest, or even sell gold jewelry and dental work.
During the meeting, some home care workers wore signs saying how many days they have gone without a paycheck. Some stood up and shouted at the Board of Supervisors, explaining that they can’t pay their rent or basic living expenses because of the payroll or management problem.
“Every day, dozens of our co-workers call us at the union hotline, in every language, desperate for some help,” said Ellen Rollins, President of SEIU 521 Home Care chapter. “Many of us take the bus or drive quite a distance to deliver our timecards to the IHSS office drop box, so it doesn’t get lost in the mail. But regardless of our care, our paychecks don’t come.”
“We count on our pay, like you do, to pay our bills and buy food and medical supplies,” said Julie Shih, a home care worker. “Our bills continue to add up, and so do the late fees, bank charges, and interest charges. But our paychecks don’t come.”
“We have to borrow money from our friends and family, and also payday loans that charge 466% interest,” said Hilba Cole, a home care worker. “We are so desperate that we are forced to sell our jewelry, our gold dental work, funeral plots, these stories go on and on. Please help us with real solutions soon. We are left with very few options at this point.”
Read the press release:
Late IHSS payments leading to evictions
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