[Colorado-talk] FW: Please help encourage Colorado's Congress members to cosponsor HR3086

Scott C. LaBarre slabarre at labarrelaw.com
Tue May 1 19:34:47 UTC 2012

Greetings,  please see the below and please do call/email our reps today!
If you can't today, please do so tomorrow.

Scott C. LaBarre, President

National Federation of the Blind of Colorado

-----Original Message-----
From: colorado-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org
[mailto:colorado-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Chris Foster 
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2012 2:43 PM
To: 'Colorado Association of Blind Students List'; 'NFB of Colorado
Discussion List'
Subject: [Colorado-talk] Please help encourage Colorado's Congress members
to cosponsor HR3086

Dear Colorado Federationists,

Last Saturday, April 21, The Denver chapter decided to engage in a
collective email/phone campaign to contact Colorado's members in Congress to
ask them to cosponsor HR3086, The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities
Act of 2011, on May 1.    We'd like to ask everyone of our fellow members in
Colorado reading this email to help us out, next Tuesday may 1.  If you have
questions about this particular legislation, or if you just need a refresher
on specific details, I have pasted our information sheet at the end of this

Contact information 

For purposes of this legislation, we are only focusing our efforts on
contacting our 7 Congressional representatives in the house.  Currently,
there is no companion bill in the Senate and we don't know when there might
be. Below each members' name, I have listed our contact person that specific
office in Washington D.C.  I have listed both the office phone number and an
email address for the specific contact.  Please feel free to call the staff
member, send an email, or both.  If the staff member is unavailable and they
ask you if you'd like to leave a message, please make sure you leave a
voicemail.  When you contact each of these offices, please make sure to
mention that you are a blind resident of Colorado.  If you are speaking with
a staff member and they directly ask you where you live, please tell them.
So far, the only definite response that we have is from Congressman Mike
Coffman who has told us that he will not cosponsor HR3086.  When you write
or speak to his office, please state that you know that as of now he is not
supporting this bill and let the office know but that you are aware of the
legislation, you believe it is important for Colorado's and the Nation's
disabled workers, and would he please reconsider his position?  

If you have further questions on making these phone calls or writing emails
to the Congressional staff members, please contact Eric Woods via email at
woodseric3 at gmail.com or call him at (720) 351-6903.  Remember folks,
Tuesday, May 1 is the day.  These campaigns have worked before in the past
and they can work again if everyone sends email messages and/or makes the
phone calls to the offices next Tuesday.  Thanks, Chris Foster 


Colorado's Congress Members in the House 

Representative Ed Perlmutter (D) 


Haley Nicholson, Legislative Assistant

Email: Haley.Nicholson at mail.house.gov 


Representative Mike Coffman (R)


Stephen Beck, Legislative Aide 

Email: stephen.beck at mail.house.gov 


Representative Diana DeGette (D) 


Peter Baumann, Press Assistant

Email: Peter.Baumann at mail.house.gov 


Representative Doug Lamborn (R) 


Dan Ziegler, Legislative Director

Email: dan.ziegler at mail.house.gov


Representative Scott Tipton


Eli Leino 

Email: mailto:Eli.Leino at mail.house.gov


Representative Jared Polis (D)


Adam Lowenstein, Health Care Staff 

Email: adam.lowenstein at mail.house.gov


Representative Cory Gardner (R)


Staff Contact: Joe Williamson

Email: Joe.Williamson at mail.house.gov




The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011 H.R. 3086

Disabled workers have been unfairly excluded from the federal minimum wage
for 74 years, and today over 300,000 disabled workers are working for
subminimum wages. 

Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) discriminates against
people with disabilities. This section allows the Secretary of Labor to
grant special wage certificates to employers, permitting them to pay their
workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage, often in sheltered
work environments. In some instances disabled workers are being paid pennies
per hour. 

This discrimination is rooted in low expectations based on misconceptions
about the capabilities of disabled people. The law falsely implies that
people with disabilities cannot be productive employees, and subminimum wage
employers prey on society's misconception that disabled people are incapable
of being competitively employed. In reality, when provided the proper
rehabilitation training and tools, workers with disabilities can be
productive and financially independent. 

Subminimum wage supports an outdated business model that fosters the
underemployment of workers with disabilities. Section 14(c) was only to be
used "to the extent necessary to prevent curtailment of opportunities" for
employment of people with disabilities. Instead, subminimum-wage sheltered
workshops have eroded into day custody centers, limiting opportunities for
workers with disabilities ever to transition into integrated, competitive
work. These institutions instill a philosophy of incapacity, which becomes a
self-fulfilling prophecy resulting in long-term underemployment. 

The sheltered work system is a cash cow for the subminimum wage employer.
Many employers insist that paying the minimum wage to disabled employees
would result in lack of profitability and a reduction in their workforce,
but most benefit from philanthropic donations, preferred status when bidding
on federal contracts, and federal funding. Moreover, while their disabled
workers receive subminimum wages that are subsidized by Social Security and
public assistance, some workshop executives are earning salaries far above
industry norms. The economics overwhelmingly favor subminimum wage
employers, encouraging the perpetuation of subminimum wage employment and
leaving workers with disabilities little to no choice for real employment.

The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011:

Discontinues the practice of issuing special wage certificates. The
secretary of labor will no longer issue special wage certificates to new

Phases out all remaining special wage certificates over a 3-year period.
Entities currently holding special wage certificates will begin compensating
their workers with disabilities at no less than the federal minimum wage,
using the following schedule: 

*	private for-profit entities' certificates will be revoked after 1
*	public or governmental entities' certificates will be revoked after
2 years; and 
*	non-profit entities' certificates will be revoked after 3 years. 

Repeals Section14(c) of the FLSA. Three years after the law is enacted, the
practice of paying disabled workers subminimum wage will be officially
abolished, and workers with disabilities will no longer be excluded from the
workforce protection of a federal minimum wage. 

Stop the Discrimination.
Promote Equal Work for Equal Pay.

Cosponsor the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act, H.R. 3086.

For more information contact:
Anil Lewis, Director of Strategic Communications National Federation of the
Phone: (410) 659-9314, Extension 2374 Email: alewis at nfb.org

To cosponsor the bill, contact:
James Thomas in Congressman Cliff Stearns's office
Phone: (202) 225-5744 Email: james.thomas at mail.house.gov
Tim Powers in Congressman Tim Bishop's office
Phone: (202) 225-3826 Email: tim.powers at mail.house.gov


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