[Nfbmo] Letters to the President about Including People with Disabilities in Minimum Wage Increase

Shelia Wright sbwright95 at att.net
Fri Feb 7 21:18:48 UTC 2014

FYI  - Note that this is a call for immediate action.

Shelia Wright


From: Nfb-legislative-directors
[mailto:nfb-legislative-directors-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Sloan,
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 2:05 PM
To: 'Nfb-legislative-directors at nfbnet.org'
Subject: [Nfb-legislative-directors] Letters to the President about
Including People with Disabilities in Minimum Wage Increase


Hello Legislative Directors,  


FYI: Many organizations are encouraging letters to be sent to President
Obama and Secretary Perez regarding President Obama's recent executive order
that will raise the minimum wage for federal government contract workers.
We would like to see people with disabilities be included in his executive
order-as of right now, those who are employed under 14(c) certificate
holding organizations are not directly included in the raise.  


If this is a concern to you, here are the appropriate email addresses to
send your letters.  


Direct your letters to the White House to:


Claudia Gordon (Claudia_L_Gordon at who.eop.gov
<mailto:Claudia_L_Gordon at who.eop.gov> ) and  "cc":

*	Valerie Jarrett (vjarrett at who.eop.gov <mailto:vjarrett at who.eop.gov>
*	Portia Wu (portia.y.wu at who.eop.gov <mailto:portia.y.wu at who.eop.gov>

Direct your letters to the Department of Labor to:

Matthew Colangelo (Colangelo.Matthew at dol.gov
<mailto:Colangelo.Matthew at dol.gov> )   and "cc"

*	ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez (martinez.kathy at dol.gov
<mailto:martinez.kathy at dol.gov> ).



I am also sending you the action alert from CPSD, one of our partners for
repealing 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  


I hope you find this information helpful.  Have a wonderful weekend!






URGENT Action Alert: Activate Your Grassroots to Send Letters to the White
House and Department of Labor


CPSD's letter (See below) urging President Obama and Secretary Perez to
include federal contractors who make less than minimum wage to be included
in the executive order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour has
gained momentum. Labor groups such as the AFL-CIO, SEIU and Change to Win
have signed-on, as have mental health groups, the ACLU, and advocates for
Americans with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities and
their families.

Now it is important for self-advocates (particularly those who have made
subminimum wages in the past or are in that position now), along with their
families and providers who want to see a substantially decreased dependence
on this model, to get letters to the White House and the Secretary of Labor.



Please feel free to use language from the CPSD letter and to TELL YOUR OWN
PERSONAL STORY. Fear is a powerful factor for many families but the vision
of a better economic future and a life of one's own for those with
disabilities is stronger.

In your letters to the White House, direct your letter to:


Claudia Gordon (Claudia_L_Gordon at who.eop.gov
<mailto:Claudia_L_Gordon at who.eop.gov> ) and  "cc":

*	Valerie Jarrett (vjarrett at who.eop.gov <mailto:vjarrett at who.eop.gov>
*	Portia Wu (portia.y.wu at who.eop.gov <mailto:portia.y.wu at who.eop.gov>

To the Department of Labor, direct your letter to

Matthew Colangelo (Colangelo.Matthew at dol.gov
<mailto:Colangelo.Matthew at dol.gov> )   and "cc"

*	ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez (martinez.kathy at dol.gov
<mailto:martinez.kathy at dol.gov> ).

Thank you and please let me know if I can help



Here is their letter:



February 6, 2014


President Barack Obama

The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 

Washington, DC 20500 


The Honorable Thomas Perez 

Secretary of Labor U.S. Department of Labor 

200 Constitution Ave., NW 

Washington, DC 20210 


Dear Mr. President and Secretary Perez: 


As national partners of the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination
(CPSD), we were pleased to read that you will soon be issuing an executive
order to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for federal contract
workers. At the same time, we are profoundly concerned by recent statements
suggesting that workers with disabilities employed by government contractors
with 14c certificates will not be covered by the new $10.10 minimum wage. 


CPSD is an advocacy network of 21 national organizations who have come
together to bring about a significant modernization of the federal adult
system of services and supports for persons with disabilities. 


As you know, many workers with disabilities are employed by government
contractors, particularly those associated with the AbilityOne Commission.
Government contractors who hold 14c certificates from the U.S. Department of
Labor Wage and Hour Division have been permitted to pay less than minimum
wage to workers with disabilities. We believe that all Americans should be
afforded minimum wage protections, including those workers with


Recent statements from the administration have suggested that employees with
disabilities working for federal contractors with 14c certificates will be
excluded from the new $10.10/hour minimum wage and will only benefit to a
minimal degree in so far as their subminimum wage compensation is increased
if the higher minimum wage required by the executive order increases the
prevailing wage on which their compensation is calculated. We believe this
is fundamentally unjust.


Mr. President and Secretary Perez, all employees of federal contractors
should mean all employees, regardless of disability status. In the last
several years, we have seen commitments from Rhode Island, Massachusetts,
New York and Oregon to phase out the use of sheltered workshops - the
primary setting where disabled workers are paid less than minimum wage.
Vermont ended the use of both sheltered workshops and subminimum wage
employment of people with disabilities in 2003. We believe this progress
shows that it is both economically sound and morally just to ensure that
people with disabilities have access to the same wage protections as those
without. While a broader end to subminimum wage and Section 14c may require
an act of Congress, we believe that the Administration has the authority to
end the use of subminimum wage for employees of federal contractors
immediately, through the use of the same executive order establishing the
new $10.10/hour requirement. 


Thank you again for your leadership and for serious consideration of our
comments. We stand ready to work with you to align federal policies and
financing to achieve the valued goal of integrated, competitive employment
for all citizens with disabilities. It is our sincere hope that you do not
leave the disability community behind in your forthcoming executive order.



American Civil Liberties Union 


Association of Persons in Supported Employment 

Autistic Self-Advocacy Network 

Autism Society 

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law 

Change to Win 

Disability Power & Pride 


Institute for Community Inclusion 

Japanese American Citizens League 

National Association of the Deaf 

National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities

National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery 

National Council on Independent Living 

National Down Syndrome Congress 

National Fragile X Foundation 

National Disability Institute 

National Disability Rights Network 

National Organization on Disability 

National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities 

Not Dead Yet 

Physician Parent Caregivers 

Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities 

Service Employees International Union 

Sibling Leadership Network 


United Spinal Association



Rose Sloan

Government Affairs Specialist


"Eliminating Subminimum Wages for People with Disabilities" 



National Federation of the Blind

200 East Wells Street 

Baltimore, MD 21230

rsloan at nfb.org <mailto:rsloan at nfb.org> 

(410)-659-9314 ext 2441


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