Judge Blocks Wage Cuts for In-Home Supportive Services Workers
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken issued an oral injunction against a plan for California to reduce its contribution to hourly wages for In-Home Supportive Services workers by $2, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Although the wage cut was scheduled to go into effect July 1, Wilken ordered the state to continue paying workers up to $12.10 in wages and benefits.
The Service Employees International Union filed the lawsuit after California's Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) approved the wage cuts as part of a February budget deal. The Department of Finance estimated that cutting the wages would reduce state spending by $98 million for 2009-2010.
Dave Regan, executive vice president for SEIU, said the judge ruled against the state because officials failed to sufficiently study the wage cut's impact on IHSS, a step he says is required by the federal Medicaid act.
Department of Finance spokesperson H.D. Palmer said state lawyers plan to seek a stay to allow the wage cuts to go forward as planned.He said, "We fully expect this decision to be overturned on appeal" (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 6/26). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.