By WFI Staff
Not even a month on the job and freshly minted U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is already taking the federal agency in a controversial direction.
We knew Perez had a checkered past, from questionable legal maneuvers while heading the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division to his own ties with union bosses, but we didn’t know that he’d end up targeting senior citizens. Rather than get to the business of helping revive the economy with balanced labor laws that truly work for both employees and employers, one of Perez’s first acts is to force seniors to pay full-time benefits for part-time nursing assistants.
That’s right. New regulations instituted this week will turn seniors – barely able to adjust to stringent ObamaCare requirements on family caregivers – into the sole providers of healthcare for nursing assistants. Reports the Washington Free Beacon:
The regulation, which requires seniors to provide part-time assistants with full-time benefits, is expected to cost billions of dollars. The Labor Department’s 2010 proposal that paved the way was expected to cost $2 billion over the next ten years.
Controversial Labor Secretary Tom Perez instituted the new regulations on Tuesday afternoon, declaring them a victory for the nation’s “certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care aides, caregivers, and companions.”
In reality, it’s not a victory. Seniors will have no choice to cut back on caregiver hours, thereby limiting the care they receive or forcing them to seek care in institutions. That could actually lead to not only fewer hours for nursing assistant professionals, but also fewer jobs.
Of course, what Perez fails to mention is that he’s really being a shill for Big Labor, starting with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) which represents healthcare workers. Recently, SEIU organizers bullied families into paying union dues if they were classified as caretakers for disabled children or elderly family members. This latest regulation is the most recent in a string of moves by organizations such as SEIU seeking to expand their regulatory influence in Washington since workers are voluntarily deciding against joining collective bargaining units.
Perez’s move also explains why the SEIU has been so publicly supportive of ObamaCare lately, even in the face of condemnation and scrutiny from other major Big Labor outfits like the AFL-CIO, which call the new health care law “highly disruptive.” In subjecting seniors to more pain in their wallets and quality of life, this Labor Secretary gives us a highly disturbing picture of what the next few years in labor regulations will look like.