FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. Representatives Stearns and Bishop Introduce
Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act
National Federation of the Blind Commends Action
Washington, D.C. (October 4, 2011): Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Congressman Tim Bishop (D-NY) today introduced the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011 (H.R. 3086). The bill would phase out Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which allows employers holding special wage certificates to pay their workers with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act is a long-overdue effort to correct an injustice written into a law meant to protect all American workers from abuse and exploitation. Workers with disabilities were excluded from the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act because of the false belief that we cannot be as productive as Americans without disabilities. Courage and creativity are required to replace the misguided benevolence that has historically shaped policies toward people with disabilities with real opportunity for our equal employment and full participation in the workplace. We applaud Representatives Stearns and Bishop and we hope that a significant majority of their colleagues possess the courage and creativity to end over seventy years of exploitation of people with disabilities.”
“Simple fairness and decency require that workers with disabilities receive equal pay for equal work,” said Congressman Stearns. “I am asking all of my colleagues to join me in this historic effort to end wage discrimination against workers with disabilities once and for all.”
“Ensuring that Americans with disabilities receive equal pay for equal work is more than a matter of basic fairness, it’s a long-overdue acknowledgement of the value disabled Americans contribute to our workplaces every day,” said Congressman Tim Bishop. “I hope all of my colleagues will support this bipartisan effort to correct over seventy years of injustice.”
For more information about the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act and the National Federation of the Blind, please visit www.nfb.org.