Court throws out bargaining rights for Pa. home care workers

A Pennsylvania court is putting an end to a program established by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf that the judges said improperly granted union rights to home care workers who look after elderly and disabled people.

Commonwealth Court ruled 4-to-1 Thursday in favor of the plaintiffs who challenged an executive order Wolf issued in February 2015.

The court majority says Wolf’s order is a form of legislation it called an “invalid exercise of executive authority” that “invades the relationship” between direct care workers and the people who employ them in their homes.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs said the ruling is what they hoped for. The plaintiffs include the Pennsylvania Homecare Association and United Cerebral Palsy of Pennsylvania.

Wolf’s office said he’s disappointed and is “considering options for the best path forward.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.