[nfbwatlk] FW: H.R.3086 -- Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Sat Oct 8 00:13:19 CDT 2011


From: wcb-l-bounces at wcbinfo.org [mailto:wcb-l-bounces at wcbinfo.org] On Behalf
Of Carl Jarvis
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2011 9:42 PM
To: wcb
Subject: [Wcb-l] H.R.3086 -- Fair Wages for Workers with Dis

 

Here's the Bill.  Happy reading.

 

Carl Jarvis

 

H.R.3086 -- Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011 (Introduced
in House - IH)





HR 3086 IH 

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3086

To phase out special wage certificates under the Fair Labor Standards Act of
1938 under which individuals with disabilities may be employed at subminimum
wage rates. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES


October 4, 2011


Mr. STEARNS (for himself and Mr. BISHOP of New York) introduced the
following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the
Workforce 

  _____  

A BILL

To phase out special wage certificates under the Fair Labor Standards Act of
1938 under which individuals with disabilities may be employed at subminimum
wage rates. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.


This Act may be cited as the `Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act
of 2011'.


SEC. 2. FINDINGS.


Congress finds the following:

(1) Current Federal law allows the Secretary of Labor to grant special wage
certificates to entities that provide employment to workers with
disabilities, allowing such entities to pay their disabled workers at rates
that are lower than the Federal minimum wage.

(2) The practice of paying workers with disabilities less than the Federal
minimum wage dates back to the 1930s, when there were virtually no
employment opportunities for disabled workers in the mainstream workforce.

(3) Today, advancements in vocational rehabilitation, technology, and
training provide disabled workers with greater opportunities than in the
past, and the number of such workers in the national workforce has
dramatically increased.

(4) Employees with disabilities, when provided the proper rehabilitation
services, training, and tools, can be as productive as nondisabled
employees. Even those individuals that are considered most severely disabled
have been able to successfully obtain employment earning minimum wage or
higher.

(5) While some employers possessing special wage certificates claim to
provide rehabilitation and training to disabled workers to prepare them for
competitive employment, the fact that such employers can pay their workers
less than the Federal minimum wage gives them an incentive to exploit the
cheap labor provided by their disabled workers rather than to prepare those
workers for integrated employment in the mainstream economy.

(6) Many employers with a history of paying subminimum wages benefit from
philanthropic donations and preferred status when bidding on Federal
contracts. Yet they claim that paying minimum wage to their employees with
disabilities would result in lack of profitability and forced reduction of
their workforces.

(7) Other employers, recognizing that the payment of subminimum wages is in
fact exploitation of disabled workers, are now paying the Federal minimum
wage, or higher, to their employees with disabilities without reducing their
workforces, while still maintaining their profitability. For example,
National Industries for the Blind (NIB) agencies exploited their blind
employees for years through the payment of subminimum wages, claiming they
could not maintain profitability otherwise. Now, `All NIB associated
agencies are committed to the NIB Board policy to pay employees, whose only
disability is blindness, at or above the Federal minimum wage or their state
minimum wage, whichever is highest.'

(8) The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor is charged with
the responsibility for oversight of these special wage certificates. The
results from thorough investigations conducted by the Government
Accountability Office--`Stronger Federal Efforts Needed for Providing
Employment Opportunities and Enforcing Labor Standards in Sheltered
Workshops, Report to the Congress, Comptroller General of the United States'
(HRD-81-99) and `Report to Congressional Requesters, Special Wage Program:
Centers Offer Employment and Support Services to Workers With Disabilities,
But Labor Should Improve Oversight' (GAO-01-886)--explain that due to lack
of capacity, training, and resources, the Wage and Hour Division is
incapable of enforcing compliance with the subminimum wage provision.
Furthermore, the significant appropriation that would be required to improve
oversight of the regulation would be better spent improving employment
outcomes for people with disabilities.

(9) According to the rules established under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938, employers are to determine the special wage to be
paid to a disabled employee through a complicated method that unfairly
establishes a productivity benchmark that would be difficult for anyone to
maintain. The inability of many employers to correctly establish the wage
pursuant to the rule has regularly resulted in disabled employees receiving
even less than the special minimum wage (below the federally established
minimum wage) that they should have received under the regulation.


SEC. 3. TRANSITION TO FAIR WAGES.


(1) DISCONTINUANCE- Effective on the date of enactment of this Act, the
Secretary of Labor shall discontinue issuing special wage certificates under
section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 214(c)) to
any new entities not currently holding a certificate.

(2) TRANSITION- All special wage certificates held on the date of enactment
of this Act--

(A) by private for profit entities shall be revoked 1 year after such date
of enactment;

(B) by public or governmental entities shall be revoked 2 years after such
date of enactment; and

(C) by non-profit entities shall be revoked 3 years after such date of
enactment.

(3) REPEAL- Effective 3 years from the date of enactment of this Act,
section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 214(c)) is
repealed and any remaining special wage certificates issued under such
section shall be revoked.






  _____  

THIS SEARCH     THIS DOCUMENT     GO TO
Next Hit        Forward           


*************
Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them
out of bondage. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led
out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up your minds there
is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves. --Eugene Victor Debs
1855-1926

 

"I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does
absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions
of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their
lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence."
Eugene Victor Debs  

 

check out my blog
www.curiouscarlscorner.blogspot.com

 


*************
Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them
out of bondage. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led
out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up your minds there
is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves. --Eugene Victor Debs
1855-1926

-------------- next part --------------
An embedded and charset-unspecified text was scrubbed...
Name: Untitled attachment 00208.txt
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbwatlk_nfbnet.org/attachments/20111007/e23f9338/attachment.txt>


More information about the nfbwatlk mailing list