THE FEDERAL COURT of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the U.S. Department of Labor does indeed have the authority to extend federal wage and hour laws to the nation's 2 million home-care aides. In Pennsylvania, this decision means that 125,000 home care aides will now be subject to federal labor protections, including guaranteed minimum wage, overtime pay and compensation for travel between clients.

Though Pennsylvania already guarantees state minimum wage and time and a half for overtime for its home-care workforce, compensation for travel time is a significant change. For many home-care workers who see multiple clients in a day, uncompensated travel time reduces hourly wages to below minimum wage.

Better compensation for home care aides means less turnover-one of every two aides leaves the field annually - and better care for elders and people with disabilities in Pennsylvania and across the country. With quality home care, residents can live independently, stay healthy and remain active in their communities. In the end, a healthier population means less costly hospitalization and nursing-home care, a benefit to taxpayers and our state's economy. The trade associations that brought this suit should end their appeals and move on to ensuring that we have a skilled and stable workforce to care for our nation's elders.

Karen Kulp

President, Home Care

Associates of Philadelphia

Shame on Katie Fehlinger's pregnancy shamers

It could be mentioned that each of those writing hurtful comments had a mother that also went through a body-warping pregnancy to bring them into this world so they could expose their ignorance and poor taste for all to see. It could be mentioned that those writing the comments do so while lurking in the shadows of their homes while Mrs. Fehlinger stands in front of a camera allowing her image to be broadcast live each day.

But the best thing to be said is that she is doing what she can to carry those two girls for a full 39 weeks to give them their best chance at a health life. That means mom needs to maintain her normal healthy lifestyle prior to their birth. We only hear of the March for Babies once a year, but the message is important all year long. Maintain a normal lifestyle for as long as your doctor recommends it. Women who are about to be mothers need to know that they should be supported by the whole community as they carry that child.

Chuck Lord