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Subminimum Wage Population Outreach Guide

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When people with disabilities were given more opportunities to enter the workforce by FLSA legislation in 1938, it was assumed a worker with a disability was less productive than one without a disability. This common thought rationalized lower wages for people with disabilities.

Today, we understand that people with disabilities, given equal opportunity and appropriate supports, can perform as well as co-workers without disabilities.

Current legislation calls for the phase out of subminimum wage allowances based on disability. Disability advocates call this an important civil rights issue and assert subminimum wages are in direct opposition to the fairness and equal opportunity guaranteed to every citizen of the United States.

Source: The Hill - Now is the time to end the subminimum wage for people with disabilities

Resistance to Change

Still, there is lingering resistance to ending subminimum wage for people with disabilities. The majority of people who now work in subminimum-wage programs are people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some workers' families and subminimum-wage programs are concerned that eliminating subminimum wage programs could threaten choice in employment and the well-being of people who are happy to be working.

Ultimately, the resistance to ending subminimum wage for people with disabilities comes down to a willingness to value the contributions of all workers, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

Source: NPR - Workers With Disabilities Can Earn Just $3.34 An Hour. Agency Says Law Needs Change

Outreach to Subminimum Wage Populations

Use these resources to learn more about subminimum wage programs and promising practices around outreach and engagement with subminimum wage populations.

On-Demand Training

More Resources

Related Resources: Subminimum Wage

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