Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) has introduced HR 3086 to phase out subminimum wages for people with disabilities. Below is Stearns’ press release. It is great to have bi-partisan sponsorship. Whether or not the bill is likely to be enacted, it draws attention to the issue.
STEARNS OFFERS FAIR WAGES FOR WORKERS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
Oct 4, 2011
BILL WOULD ALTER LAW ALLOWING EMPLOYERS TO PAY THE DISABLED LESS THAN THE MINIMUM WAGE
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2011 – “Although the disabled have made significant progress in achieving the American dream, they still face unfairness in the workplace under a provision that allows employers to pay workers with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL). “Protections for disabled workers were excluded in the Fair Labor Standards Act in the mistaken belief that they were not as productive as other workers. Workers with disabilities contribute to our economy and to our society, and they deserve equal pay for equal work.”
Stearns today offered the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act along with Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY). This legislation would phase out the provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act that allows sub-minimum wage for disabled workers. Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, expressed strong support for the legislation, “We applaud Representatives Stearns and Bishop and we hope that a significant majority of their colleagues possess the courage and creativity to end over seventy years of exploitation of people with disabilities.”