Care N Assist has always paid its employees above minimum wage. In fact, we raised the maximum pay level for our certified and non-certified workers for 2014 and most of our employees received a cost of living raise this January.

In this way, we have the same philosophy that you have heard from President Obama. During his State of the Union speech he said, “Companies have found that when their employees earn more, they’re more motivated, they work harder, and they stick around longer.” Which is completely true.

Our President has mandated a $10.10/hr wage for federally contracted jobs. My question is, “How will an almost $3/hr raise from the current federal minimum wage impact the cost of the service those people provide?” I am concerned that it will increase those service costs.

The In-Home Care industry is not ready for $10.10/hr as a minimum wage. We already compete heavily with care providers who work under the table. With the increased connectivity of people through internet listings our agency’s advantage of finding good jobs and keeping great workers is already at risk.

We are further limited by the contracts that we have with state funded agencies. The Department of Human Services is currently our lowest paying provider and the Area Agencies on Aging are not much better. These state run agencies, would have to have their budgets increased by almost 15% to afford a $3/hr increase in their contracts.

On the other hand, I do have employees needing a higher wage than I can afford. I encourage them to continue to educate themselves and gain skills that will allow me to promote them or recommend them to other higher paying employers. I have written many letters of recommendation. I truly believe it is not a loss for me to see this happen. I am happy for each of them to grow and see their dreams fulfilled.