Better Governing Now » Disability Rights: Abolish Section 14(c)


Disability Rights: Abolish Section 14(c)

    Sabe Wilis is a multi-subject writer, with their current main project being Trials of Ambiguity.

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    In 49 states it is legal for an employer to pay an employee below minimum wage because the worker is disabled. These are people who work jobs abled people do, only they get paid a small fraction of a wage (sub-minimum wage laws vary by state, but some allow $0.10 per hour.) This is considered by many disability advocates to be blatant discrimination, and is a part of the ongoing Disabled Rights Movement.

    On the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, demonstrations began in several cities against Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act; allowing for disabled people to be paid a wage less than federal minimum wage for their work. This has been ongoing, but recently it has taken off. They are doing the same quality work, yet it is legal in all States except New Hampshire to pay them less. They are being paid less than what is considered legal for everyone else.

    Apologists for these sheltered workshops, as they are called, claim that these places are in good faith, and are not made to provide income for the employees; rather to "give them dignity." This argument is absolute rubbish, and inaccurately portrays the issues, situations, and needs of disabled people. Investigative reports have surfaced which reveals that many of these organizations.

    This is considered by disability rights advocates to be a blatant infringement on their rights to equal treatment under law. By making 1.4% of what everyone else earns, it is obvious that there is an injustice in the rights for disabled Americans.

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