Homecare Worker Safety

I am a private agency homecare worker in Eugene. Countless private agency homecare workers have shared their stories of lack of adequate training and violations of basic labor laws concerning overtime and breaks.

Right now there is a bill in the state legislature (SB 669) that seeks to improve the safety and quality of care for those who utilize privately owned in-home care services. Proper training can be a matter of life or death.

For example, I know of two caregivers who were sent out to high-needs consumers who required a Hoyer lift to get from bed to wheelchair. These care providers had no training on how to use this equipment and this constituted a danger to both parties’ safety and wellbeing. One client had been dropped so many times due to improper training that he refused to get out of bed.

In addition to other safeguards, SB 669 will also ensure care providers are protected from retaliation when situations like this are questioned or reported. Not surprisingly, owners of private homecare agencies are fighting the bill and asserting that the current level of training they provide is adequate and that by setting a minimum standard for training they would be forced to lower their current training standards. This is a false argument, as a minimum standard does not prevent agencies from exceeding a minimum bar. 

SB 669 demands that workers are adequately prepared so that consumers are safer, and creates oversight so that business owners are held accountable.

Please urge your legislators to support SB 669.

Michelle Souder


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