[Nfbc-info] Call to Action on Subminimum Wages

Mary Willows mwillows at sbcglobal.net
Mon Jun 27 18:48:35 UTC 2011

Dear California Federationists:

It is time for us to show our strength in numbers by contacting Senator Tom 
Harkin, of Iowa, urging him to remove Section 511 from Title V of the 
Investment Act (WIA), which is part of the Rehabilitation Act.  The bill 
will be marked up and voted on June 29 (in just two days).

The proposed language in Section 511 of Title V of the Rehabilitation Act 
states the process a Rehabilitation counselor would have to go through
before referring a client to a subminimum wage work environment. The
intent is to make it more difficult for clients to be steered toward 
subminimum wage
employment. Unfortunately, the language opens a door to subminimum wage
employment that did not previously exist. As a result of Section 511, if VR 
to provide a client with the proper training and support to become
competitively employed, they will be encouraged to make a referral to a 
wage employer.

The language states that, once placed in a subminimum wage work
environment, the client should receive a review every six months.
However, similar to WHD’s
inability to enforce Section 14(c) of the FLSA, it will not be possible
for VR to properly enforce this law, leaving even more individuals stuck
in subminimum wage jobs.

We need to let members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education,
Labor, and Pension know that Section 511 of Title V of the Rehabilitation 
should be removed.

At the present time, no California representatives serve on the committee so 
the best thing to do is to call the Chairman, Senator Tom Harkin and tell 
him or his Aide that we are calling upon him to remove Section 511 of Title 
V of the Rehabilitation Act from the Reauthorization of the Workforce 
Investment Act.

Please call immediately.  (202) 224-3254

Mary Willows, President
National Federation of the Blind of California
mwillows at sbcglobal.net 

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