Release Date: 
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Comments on Verdict Against Henry’s Turkey Service

Baltimore, Maryland (May 2, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind commented today on a $240 million verdict awarded by an Iowa jury to disabled former employees of Henry’s Turkey Service.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The National Federation of the Blind congratulates the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for obtaining this important verdict, and we commend the jury for recognizing the equal dignity and value of workers with disabilities.  The jury in this case has sent a strong message that the exploitation of Americans with disabilities is morally reprehensible and those responsible must be punished.”

Among other forms of exploitation and abuse, the Henry’s Turkey Service employees were paid only forty-one cents per hour.  Over four hundred thousand other American workers with disabilities are paid less than the federal minimum wage.  Under current law, subminimum wage payments to workers with disabilities are legal under an exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The National Federation of the Blind and over fifty other organizations of people with disabilities are seeking to phase out this discriminatory practice by supporting the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013, H.R. 831. 
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