CONTACT: Lena Parsons, for Access Living

Disabled Americans Want Work Now Applauds
Introduction of Fair Wages Legalization

Urges Passage of Fair Wages for Workers Disabilities Act

Disabled Americans Want Work Now (DAWWN) applauds the introduction of Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act – H.R. 831. Representative Greg Harper (R-MS), along with eleven original co-sponsors, introduced Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 to repeal section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, and to phase out the discriminatory practice of paying workers with disabilities pennies per hour.

Congressman Harper said: “Section 14 (c) of the FLSA, enacted out of ignorance about the true capacity of people with disabilities, currently prevents over 300,000 people with disabilities from gaining access to work and training environments that have been proven to be more cost effective and to produce more competitive integrated work outcomes. Subminimum-wage work is just an expression of low expectations that instills a false sense of incapacity in individuals, who could become competitively employed with proper training and support.”

In addition, certain maintenance workers and security guards who have a disability can also get below the federal standard of $7.25 an hour, and below the state requirement of $8.25 for businesses with four or more employees. Susan Aarup, DAWWN co-chair, said, “Disabled people who work at sheltered workshops doing piecemeal labor can legally receive as little as two to four dollars a day. The proposed bill, H.R. 831, will end years of wage discrimination against disabled workers.”

DAWWN is a grassroots group of people with disabilities that advocates for the Human Right to Work. DAWWN provides a VOICE for all people with disabilities interested in improving access to good paying jobs, job training and broader social justice. DAWWN is an advocacy group of Access Living.

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Established in 1980, Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully–engaged and self–directed lives. Nationally recognized as a leading force in the disability advocacy community, Access Living challenges stereotypes, protects civil rights and champions social reform.

Rene David. Luna
Community Development Organizer – Employment