Showing posts with label obama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label obama. Show all posts

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Georgia Governor asks for "static" count as Obama announces plans to re-settle 10,000 Syrian refugees

Number of new refugees coming to Georgia is unknown.


The New York Times reported on Thursday that President Obama has told administration officials to begin planning for the resettlement of at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. beginning Oct. 1.

The President’s decision comes after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said on Tuesday that he does not wish to see the number of refugees increasing in Georgia. The governor reportedly told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he wants Georgia’s refugee numbers to remain static at around 2,500 and requested as much to the State Department.

On Wednesday, the governor explained that “We’ll certainly do our share, but we do think they need to do a very good job of making sure that where they place these individuals are places that can absorb them and make it easy on them and easy on the surrounding community." He admitted that the state has no real control over how many refugees the state would take in and said that resettling people is a federal issue.  

The newspaper reported on Tuesday that the governor’s wary approach to the escalating crisis in Syria was echoed by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, typically one of the region’s most forceful advocates of a welcoming policy to immigrants and refugees. He said he needed more time to evaluate the city’s position and that he would likely follow the lead of the Obama administration, which is weighing its options.

“I’m not going to get ahead of the federal government with regards to the Syrian refugee crisis,” he said.

In a briefing, Josh Earnest, press secretary to the President, said that the United States would accept at least 10,000 refugees in the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Other administration officials believe the total number of refugees could rise to 100,000 from the present 70,000. Not all of the 30,000 additional refugees would come from Syria. Mr. Earnest said this was a “misunderstanding” of Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks.

Humanitarian officials have repeatedly disputed the idea that Georgia is taking in more than its fair share of refugees.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Georgia loses court decision on overtime and minimum wage protection for home care workers

The Associated Press is reporting that a federal appeals court on Friday ruled in favor of Obama administration regulations that guarantee overtime and minimum wage protection to nearly 2 million home care workers.

Nine states, including Georgia, had opposed the rules. Samuel Olens, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Georgia, had filed a brief arguing that the changes would increase state Medicaid costs and expose states to an unfunded liability.

The ruling was a victory for worker advocacy groups, labor unions, and the White House. The Labor Department had proposed the regulations after the Obama White House had been unable to persuade Congress to change the law that exempts home care workers from full coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Labor Department issued a statement saying “Today's decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is vital to nearly two million home care workers, who will now qualify for minimum wage and overtime protections. The decision confirms this rule is legally sound. And just as important, the rule is the right thing to do — both for employees, whose demanding work merits these fundamental wage guarantees, and for recipients of services, who deserve a stable and professional workforce allowing them to remain in their homes and communities.”

A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a lower court decision in the case and said the Labor Department has the power to interpret the law to change that exemption.

The AP story cites Judge Sri Srinivasan as saying that a "dramatic transformation" of the home care industry over the past four decades as a valid reason for the change. While most caregivers used to be directly employed by individual households, the vast majority of workers now work for staffing companies that service hundreds or thousands of customers, Srinivasan said.

He also noted a massive shift to providing care for the elderly in their own homes rather than in nursing homes, which requires workers to offer more advanced medical care and assistance to clients than the mere "companionship" services envisioned in 1974.

Implementation of the regulations will be delayed, as there is a 45-day window to allow the home care associations to seek a rehearing before the full court.

You can read the full decision here.