Working for strong schools, safe streets and smart development in my local community as well as the state of Maryland and America. Supporting legislation that can transform the lives of marginalized communities (black/brown people girls/women disabled/elderly). I believe that one person can make a difference!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Build Back Better Act looking to end subminimum wage for people with disabilities

 "Now, a little-known provision in the Build Back Better Act being negotiated in Congress could help catalyze the full federal repeal of the subminimum wage for people with disabilities. The proposed legislation would incentivize states to move away from the subminimum wage by providing grant funding to help companies offer those workers jobs alongside the rest of their workforce — paying minimum wage or higher. "  Read the 19th newsletter article by clicking here

"If the subminimum wage for people with disabilities is eventually eliminated, it will undo a law originally created to encourage employers to hire disabled veterans returning from the world wars and help them assimilate back to work. Unlike other subminimum wages — like the tipped wage for restaurant workers, for example, which is currently set at $2.13 an hour with the expectation that tips will push pay above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 — it has no floor in terms of how little employees can be paid. Disabled employees in workshop settings are paid based on productivity at a percentage of the normal wage for the job, which means they are paid anywhere from cents to a few dollars an hour. "

"Efforts to curb this subminimum wage would be felt most in marginalized communities. Women with disabilities generally earn significantly less than men and are less likely to be working in integrated employment settings earning regular wages. The rates of employment in integrated jobs are even lower for Black, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Latinx people with disabilities. 

  • Women with disabilities earn nearly $14,000 less annually than men with disabilities — in 2017, they averaged $31,855, compared with $45,475 for men, according to a report from the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston. 
  • Only 16 percent of women with disabilities were in integrated employment settings, compared with 20 percent of men.
  • Overall, people of color also were less likely to be in the regular workforce: Only 14 percent of Black people, 12 percent of Asian people and 9 percent of Pacific Islanders with disabilities had integrated jobs. 
  • Employees with disabilities working at companies that pay the subminimum wage earn $3.34 per hour on average and work about 16 hours a week, according to a 2020 report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. (The data is not broken down by gender.) That means they are earning about $214 a month — 20 percent of the federal poverty threshold for one person."