Why Is It Okay To Pay Disabled Americans Below Minimum Wage?
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FEATURING MIKE ELK – The federal government sets a minimum wage that is already far too low and has become a major campaign issue during this presidential election. But did you know that it is legal to pay disabled Americans below minimum wage?
According to labor reporter Mike Elk, “Currently, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a certified ‘sheltered workshop’ can pay disabled Americans less than the minimum wage—sometimes as little as pennies per hour.”
While there has been some piece-meal progress at the state and federal level, the overall law remains in place. Now, bi-partisan support has emerged for a new bill called the TIME Act that would do away with the exception for disabled workers.
Mike Elk, senior labor reporter at Payday Report and a member of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild. He previously served as senior labor reporter at POLITICO and at In These Times Magazine.