[Nfbmo] FW: [Nfbnet-master-list] Legislative Alert Subminimum wage

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 25 05:23:49 UTC 2011


From: nfbnet-master-list-bounces at nfbnet.org
[mailto:nfbnet-master-list-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Lewis, Anil
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 7:07 PM
To: nfbnet-master-list at nfbnet.org
Subject: [Nfbnet-master-list] Legislative Alert Subminimum wage
Importance: High

Dear Fellow Federationists:
I am writing to inform you that a principle tenet of our organization is
being threatened.  We are actively developing legislation that will work
toward the repeal of Regulation 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act
(FLSA).  Meanwhile, the proposed language in Title V of the Workforce
Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization, specifically Section 511 of the
Rehabilitation Act, threatens to send us backward in our struggle for full
participation and competitive employment at competitive wages.  
Most of us are aware that in 1938, when every other employee in America was
being guaranteed the workforce protection of a federal minimum wage through
the passage of the FLSA, Section 14(c) of this act denied the blind and
other workers with disabilities this same protection by allowing for the
payment of subminimum wages.  Since our founding in 1940, the National
Federation of the Blind has fought against the erroneous misconception that
blind people cannot be productive employees, and we have made significant
strides toward a correct understanding of the true capacity of the blind.
Contrarily, the proposed language found in Section 511 of the Rehabilitation
Act is a tacit endorsement of Section 14(c) of the FLSA and its antiquated
contention that people with disabilities cannot be competitively employed.  
If passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, language in
Section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act will create a link between the
Rehabilitation Act and Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act that
has never before existed.  This will create legislation with a conflict
between the philosophy of capacity for competitive employment set by the
Rehabilitation Act, and the philosophy of incapacity toward subminimum wages
set by Section 14(c) of the FLSA, setting the stage for more workers with
disabilities to be inappropriately steered toward sheltered employment and a
life of low expectations rewarded with subminimum wages.  
The following list contains the names of members of the Senate HELP
committee.  If your Senator is a member of the committee, please call
his/her office to respectfully express your adamant objection to linking
subminimum wage to the Rehabilitation Act, and to insist that Section 511 of
the Rehabilitation Act be removed from the bill.  If your Senator is not a
member of the HELP committee, call the committee chair (Senator Tom Harkin)
and the ranking member (Senator Michael Enzi) to register your objection.  
Please share this information with friends and family and encourage them to
assist us with this effort.  Please call or e-mail me with any questions,
and to keep me posted on your progress.  
Anil Lewis
Director of Strategic Communications
Telephone:  (410) 659-9314, extension 2374
E-mail:  <mailto:alewis at nfb.org> alewis at nfb.org
Senator Lamar Alexander 
(202) 224-4944
Senator Michael F. Bennet 
(202) 224-5852
Senator Jeff Bingaman 
New Mexico
(202) 224-5521
Senator Richard Blumenthal 
(202) 224-2823
Senator Richard Burr 
North Carolina
(202) 224-3154
Senator Robert Casey, Jr. 
(202) 224-6324
Senator Mike Enzi 
(202) 224-3424
Senator Al Franken 
(202) 224-5641
Senator Kay R. Hagan 
North Carolina
(202) 224-6342
Senator Tom Harkin 
(202) 224-3254
Senator Orrin G. Hatch 
(202) 224-5251
Senator Johnny Isakson 
(202) 224-3643
Senator Mark Steven Kirk 
(202) 224-2854
Senator John McCain 
(202) 224-2235
Senator Jeff Merkley 
(202) 224-3753
Senator Barbara A. Mikulski 
(202) 224-4654
Senator Lisa Murkowski 
(202) 224-6665
Senator Patty Murray 
(202) 224-2621
Senator Rand Paul 
(202) 224-4343
Senator Pat Roberts 
(202) 224-4774
Senator Bernard Sanders 
(202) 224-5141
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse 
Rhode Island
(202) 224-2921

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