[NFBOK-Talk] Ending Sub-minimum wages for workers with disabilities

Jeanie Massay jeannie.massay at nfbok.org
Mon May 29 18:30:16 UTC 2017



Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

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

Language to End Subminimum Wages Included in New Minimum Wage Bill

Baltimore, Maryland (May 25, 2017): The National Federation of the Blind
today applauded the inclusion of language in the Raise the Wage Act of 2017,
simultaneously introduced in the House and the Senate, which calls for the
end of the payment of subminimum wages to workers with disabilities.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said:
"The National Federation of the Blind has advocated for the elimination of
the subminimum wage since our founding. The recognition of this issue by
leaders in both houses of Congress and both parties confirms that the time
has long passed to eliminate the unfair and separate wage system for people
with disabilities. Time and time again, we have demonstrated that the idea
of people with disabilities being less productive is simply an antiquated
misconception that has been allowed to permeate throughout society. This
wrong and harmful notion has resulted in multiple generations of disabled
Americans being grossly underpaid and overly reliant on government
assistance programs to survive. We want to work. We want to rid society of
these low expectations. For those reasons, we applaud the promotion of
economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities set forth in the

Under current law, there is no minimum as to how little an employee with
disabilities can be paid. Some workers earn pennies per hour. Section 6 of
the Raise the Wage Act of 2017 would implement an immediate minimum wage of
$4.25 for all workers classified under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938. This absolute minimum wage rate would increase by two
dollars per year until it matched the minimum wage earned by the rest of the
American workforce. At which point, employers would no longer be permitted
to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage.


The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back.

For more information about the National Federation of the Blind, please
visit: www.nfb.org



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