February 12, 2014 | AAPD Press Team
Washington, DC (February 12, 2014) – Today, the White House announced that President Barack Obama will sign an Executive Order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 for all future federal contract workers, including workers with disabilities. Under the current law, employees with disabilities can be paid subminimum wage, but the Executive Order, which covers all new federal contracts, will end the practice among contractors beginning in 2015.
“By including people with disabilities in his Executive Order, the President has opened the doors of equal opportunity to many federally contracted employees with disabilities,” said Mark Perriello, President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). “We applaud the Administration for recognizing that people with disabilities have the right to equal wages for doing the same jobs as people without disabilities.”
AAPD, the nation’s largest cross disability rights organization, and other disability rights organizations had urged the inclusion of people with disabilities in the President’s Executive Order since the plan was announced at the 2014 State of the Union Address.
Currently, 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act allows for workers with disabilities to be paid subminimum wage. This law dates back to 1938 and has been used by sheltered workshops where people with disabilities are segregated from other workers and can be paid as little as pennies per hour for doing the same work as employees without disabilities. About 95% of Americans with disabilities working for subminimum wage are employed at sheltered workshops, and about 420,000 workers with disabilities are being paid subminimum wage under the 14(c) program.
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The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation’s largest disability rights organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: www.aapd.com.