Jamie

Adult Foster Care Home Manager in Traverse City, MI

As a manager of an adult foster care home for persons with disabilities, I know firsthand the need for stronger overtime protections in Michigan. I worked in the field for 15 years and as a manager for eight of those years. I came to care deeply for my clients and what I did. I loved going into work and making people who don’t have anybody happy.

As managers, we worked a great deal of overtime hours without pay. Often, when we lost staff, I had to work more than 120 hours in any two-week pay period to cover shifts because somebody has to take care of our people. I would have enough staff to get by for a stretch of maybe two months, and then someone would quit or leave for another job. As a result of the excessive unpaid overtime I was required to work, I recently resigned from my job.

In my role, I wore many hats. I did direct personal care, which included showering and changing people and passing meds. I also handled everything from billing to reports, grocery shopping to fixing wheelchairs to screwing in light bulbs. I also made sure our paperwork was in order because that guaranteed our funding. I often ended up working 11-hour days at least two or three days a week. There was not a lot of personal time leftover for me after that.

Overtime protections would have a major impact on my life. If I were compensated for my hours worked, I might have been able to keep my job. Instead, I was missing out on spending time with my family, and not being able to do the things I want to do. In the end, it was not worth what I was being paid. If I were compensated for the time I worked, it would definitely be a different story.