UPDATE: The comment period has been extended to June 21st! We now have more time to combat the subminimum wage. Read the action alert below for more details on how to do so.
For the next two weeks, we have an opportunity to fight back against subminimum wage. The Department of Labor is seeking public comments on section 14(c), the outdated system companies and providers use to segregate disabled workers while paying us less than minimum wage—sometimes less than a dollar per hour. The sheltered workshop industry will be flooding the comments, trying to drown out the voices of people with disabilities who want real work for real pay. Help us make sure our community is heard by submitting a comment before June 14th.
Anyone can submit a comment, including employers, disabled people, and our family members and friends. Never written a comment before? Here are some suggestions to get you started!
- People with disabilities can write about how being paid a subminimum wage does or would impact your life. How does/would it impact your living situation, your finances, and how other people treat you? Why is it important to you go work in an integrated setting, instead of in a sheltered workshop or other segregated setting?
- Employers can share how paying people with disabilities fair wages improved the way your businesses run. Talk about why it is important to you that all of your employees are paid a fair wage and work together in an integrated setting.
- Friends and family can talk about how important it is to see disabled members of their communities working for an equal wage in an integrated setting. You can talk about how it makes you feel to see people in your community mistreated.
Equal pay is a civil right, and decisions about our rights shouldn’t be made without us. In the next two weeks, the Department of Labor needs to be hearing from people with disabilities and our allies every day. It’s time to leave subminimum wage behind, so please take a moment to write a comment, spread the word, and take a stand for equal pay!