Fight Against Overtime Rules moves to Administrative Process

In early August, after months of mounting pressure from stakeholders and a pending class-action lawsuit, the State of Illinois announced it was rescinding their disastrous overtime policy. The overtime policy capped at 35 the number of hours a personal assistant in the Home Services Program could work for one consumer and capped at 40 the number of hours a personal assistant could work per week. The rigid policy, which offered few exceptions and extreme repercussions if violated, threatened the independence of thousands of people with disabilities and the jobs of thousands of personal assistants.

Illinois’ move to cancel the policy prevented the termination of as many as 2,200 personal assistants who provided home care services to people with disabilities in every corner of Illinois.

After Illinois rescinded the policy, disability and labor advocates hoped for the opportunity to work with the State on a new policy that supports the independence of people with disabilities in the community and strengthens the network of personal assistants in the program. Instead, Illinois submitted a nearly identical policy through Illinois’ official rules-making process. In fact, the updated policy is worse, with additional language that strips people with disabilities in the program of consumer control. Consumer control is a key pillar of the Home Services Program, giving people with disabilities the leverage to hire, fire and manage their personal assistants. The new proposal includes the language, “If the customer is determined to be able to manage an Individual Provider,” giving Illinois the power to decide who does and does not have consumer control.

The new policy will now go before the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

Access Living urges everyone that has experienced the impact of the Overtime policy, and everyone that is worried about the impact of the policy on people with disabilities and workers, to submit public comments. Comments are only accepted through standard postal mail. Comments should be addressed to Tracie Drew at:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Tracie Drew, Chief
Bureau of Administrative Rules and Procedures
Department of Human Services
100 South Grand Avenue East
Harris Building, 3rd Floor
Springfield, IL 62762

Public Hearings on Overtime Issue

In addition to submitting written comments, individuals and organizations have the opportunity to comment on the overtime policy at public hearings on October 3 and October 6. The hearings are hosted by the Department of Human Services.

Chicago Hearing:

Monday, October 3
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Michael Bilandic Building
160 North LaSalle, 5th Floor

Springfield Hearing:

Thursday, October 6
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Michael Howlett Building Auditorium
2nd & Edwards Streets
Springfield IL

For more information, contact Gary Arnold at Access Living