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PNS Daily Newscast - December 8, 2017 


In focus on our Friday rundown; two members of Congress are stepping down over sexual misconduct allegations; the BLM suspends natural gas waste standards; and we have a noted historian's take on the GOP Tax plan.

Daily Newscasts

Home Care Advocates Claim Win as IL Overtime Restrictions on Hold

Illinois officials suspended overtime restrictions affecting about 8,000 Illinois home-care workers the same day as a class-action lawsuit was to be filed over the rules. (iStockphoto)
Illinois officials suspended overtime restrictions affecting about 8,000 Illinois home-care workers the same day as a class-action lawsuit was to be filed over the rules. (iStockphoto)
August 4, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. Bruce Rauner reversed course on a no-overtime policy for workers who care for people living with disabilities, and advocates say it's a victory.

The decision from the Illinois Department of Human Services came just hours before SEIU Healthcare Illinois planned to file a class-action lawsuit challenging the overtime limits on the Home Services Program. Disability-rights advocates, including Gary Arnold, public affairs manager with Access Living, said the restrictions could have left about 30,000 Illinois residents at risk of losing their in-home care providers.

"So, even if a personal assistant worked 41 hours, they would be issued one of these warnings,” Arnold said. "We could have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of people get their third strike and get their termination notice."

Earlier this year, the federal government ruled that all workers deserve time-and-a-half pay for working more than 40 hours. According to the Associated Press, the state's Human Services department will seek a new overtime policy through the Illinois Legislature.

The governor's office claimed the state needed to tighten-up overtime pay to save money as Illinois continues to struggle financially. Arnold, however, said that cost-saving measures shouldn't come at the expense of some of Illinois' most-vulnerable residents.

"The answer's not to look to cut corners within in the Home Services Program,” Arnold said, "but to invest in the program rather than institutional services. That's what's going to save money in the long run."

According to the Illinois Department of Human Services, a Kane County judge put the overtime rules on hold in July because the agency had not gone through the proper processes with lawmakers.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - IL