Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Nov 18 2020

Administration’s interpretation would have jeopardized voluntary payroll deductions for in-home caregivers

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued the following statement today after a federal judge in northern California ruled that the Trump Administration’s reinterpretation of a long-standing provision of the Medicaid Act that allows voluntary payroll deductions — such as union dues and health care premiums — from payments to in-home caregivers is invalid.

The ruling marks Ferguson’s 36th legal victory against the Trump Administration.

“The Trump Administration tried to reinterpret a 47-year-old provision of the Medicaid Act to make it harder for in-home caregivers, the majority of whom are Black, Indigenous, and women of color, to pay their health care premiums or union dues,” Ferguson said. “These workers care for our most vulnerable, allowing them to maintain their independence. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-home caregivers have kept people safe and out of the hospital. Their work is vital and we should do everything possible to make it easier for these workers to do their jobs, not play politics with their paychecks.”

Assistant Attorney General Paul DesJardien and Deputy Solicitor General Alicia Young are handling this case for Washington.

Ferguson has filed 83 lawsuits against the Trump Administration. Forty-three of these cases are awaiting a judicial ruling. Ferguson has 36 legal victories against the Trump Administration. Twenty-two of these cases are finished and cannot be appealed. There has been two adverse decisions on the merits, both currently on appeal.

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The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Contacts:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov