Minimum wage for home care workers 'in jeopardy,' groups say

Women's rights groups are concerned the Labor Department may back off plans to extend federal minimum wage and overtime pay protections to home care workers, who take care of elderly people.

For decades, states have not been required to pay these predominately women workers minimum wage.

But Labor Secretary Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE announced last year that the nation's 2 million home care workers would receive minimum wage and overtime pay starting in January 2015.

However, dozens of women's and workers' rights groups say this plan could be in "jeopardy."

They wrote to Perez this week, because they are concerned the Labor Department may cave to industry demands and delay or water down the rule.

"We were alarmed by recent remarks by Department of Labor officials suggesting that the department may delay implementation of the rule, which we fear would put this historic workplace victory in jeopardy," the groups wrote.

"The basic rights of two million home care workers—predominantly women and disproportionately women of color—once again hang in the balance, as the administration appears at risk of faltering in the face of opposition," they added.