FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Autistic Self Advocacy Network applauds President Obama’s inclusion of workers with disabilities in executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors.
Inclusion of disabled contractors means real pay for thousands of workers with disabilities.
Washington, DC — February 12th, 2014 — The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the premier national advocacy organization run by and for Autistic Americans, issued a statement today praising the Obama administration for including workers with disabilities in today’s executive order raising the minimum wage for employees of federal service and concession contractors to $10.10/hour. After initial statements from administration officials that disabled workers now being paid less than minimum wage under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act would not be included, the disability advocacy community spoke out clearly and unequivocally on the importance of including workers with disabilities in the executive order. After a two week advocacy campaign by dozens of disability rights groups, the executive order due to be signed today will include workers with disabilities now under Section 14(c).
“We applaud President Obama and Secretary Perez for demonstrating their commitment to equality and economic opportunity for workers with disabilities, and hope the administration will join us in fighting in Congress for the ultimate repeal of Section 14(c),” said ASAN President Ari Ne’eman. “This is a significant step forward for workers with disabilities.”
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, working jointly with the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination and a wide variety of cross-disability and labor organizations, called upon President Obama and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez last week to include workers with disabilities in the executive order in a joint letter and an active grassroots campaign which drew national support and attention. In response to remarks made by Secretary of Labor Tom Perez after the State of the Union stating that the White House lacked the authority absent congressional action to include workers with disabilities in the executive order, ASAN produced a legal memorandum analyzing and outlining the President and the Secretary of Labor’s authority to take such action.
Allison Wohl, Executive Director of the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination, expressed the enthusiasm of the collaboration for the final form of the executive order, saying “We are pleased that the president heard the concerns that our member organizations and allies voiced: that a provision from a law passed in 1938 is out of date and discriminatory and is in need of reform and that workers will disabilities deserve to be paid fair wages for fair labor.”
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for Autistic people. ASAN’s supporters include Autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators and friends. Its activities include public policy advocacy, community engagement to encourage inclusion and respect for neurodiversity, leadership trainings, cross-disability advocacy, and the development of Autistic cultural activities.
Media contact:Julia Bascom Director of Programs Autistic Self Advocacy Network E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (301) 310-6548