Because of a 75 year old section of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, companies that use sheltered workshops to train workers with disabilities, such as Goodwill Industries, can legally pay their employees just pennies an hour. The section of the Fair Labor Standards Act that legalizes this behavior needs to be repealed in order to ensure fair pay and treatment of every employee in today’s workforce. To begin, I will explain the use of sheltered workshops and the timed tests used to determine subminimum wages for employees with disabilities. I will then go on to discuss the history of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and how companies use a section of the legislation to get away with paying their employees with disabilities so …show more content…
In order to pay worker with disabilities below the federal minimum wage employers must first obtain a special minimum wage certificate from the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, which can be done online. The U.S. Department of Labor defines a person with a disability as “one whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by a physical or mental disability, including those relating to age or injury.” So essentially, the law states that the worth of a person with a disability is determined by how many shirts they can hang in one minute. The piece of legislation that makes subminimum wage legal is Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Section 14 of the FLSA allows paying tipped workers, new hires under the age of 20, full-time students, interns, and people with disabilities below the federal minimum wage legal. The logic supporting this section is that tipped workers will earn a fair wage because of the tips they earn and that new hires, full-time students, interns, and people with disabilities are in a temporary training part of their career. However, this is not the case for the 300,000 people with disabilities who work at sheltered workshops. (NFB, 2013). As explained previously, people with disabilities are stuck working in sheltered workshops for many years, not just for temporary job training.
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Up until the mid 1970's it was actually illegal to be disabled in a sort. It was the 'Ugly Law' which many with Cerebral Palsy suffered greatly from. If anyone was reported ugly due to a deformity of any kind, they would be arrested and taken back home. While not many things like that still happen today, there are situations that happen that are still Ableistic in their own ways. Many crimes that happen against disabled people won't get televised or any awareness raised at all. Parents with disabilities are more likely lose custody of their child, a lot of times for no reason besides being disabled. For intellectually challenged parents there's up to an 80% chance of them losing their child. There are businesses that will refuse to let a handicapped worker to any jobs where they might be visible, some refuse designated parking spaces. The disabled are often paid less, in many places they are paid below minimum wage. Which might be overlooked, if the disability benefits had any help to offer. Unfortunately, disability only offers anywhere from $5k-$7k a year, and the recipient and family they are living with cannot earn more than around $20k a year. The average middle class person is expected to make around $30k a year. Not only must the disabled live off such mediocre wages, but the necessities are ridiculously priced. Manual
In recent news, the famous law firm, Seyfarth Shaw, claimed that the number of cases based on Title III of the Americans with Disability Act, have increased over the year by 63% in 2015. The act makes it illegal for the businesses to discriminate on the basis of a disability when they are open to general public for hiring. The law is applicable to a variety of general public direct interaction based industries including housing, construction, school, teaching and day care therefore, had the law been in real practice and implemented in force the discrimination would have not taken place. Discrimination is taking place at a much higher rate than ever before because of all the cases that are flooding the court system.
The Fair Labor Standards Act has been amended many times and is virtually an ever-changing law, however, it does not cover all employees. There are several classes of “exempt” employees, including salaried employees in the executive/managerial, administrative, and professional areas. Outside salespeople are also considered exempt. One of the issues facing companies today is knowing which employees are exempt and which are non-exempt. There are tests to determine if an employee is exempt. In 2004 the tests changed to a standard test, which is whether or not the employee’s salary is $455/week or greater and the duties test, which allows for exempt status if more than 50% of the work performed by an individual is “exempt work.” (Pass and Broadwater) Exempt employees do not receive overtime pay, which can be a substantial cost savings to a company. My previous employer required that an exempt manager close the center each night even though we had non-exempt team leads who acted as managers in most capacities. The reason was to avoid overtime costs.
For centuries, there has been a common relationship between employers and employees. Over the course of that time, the workplace and the jobs within it have evolved as new jobs were created, ways to execute tasks became more advanced and laws were enacted to put into place fair employment for those in the workforce. In 1938, congress would pass and President Roosevelt would sign the Wages and Hours Bill, more commonly known as the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). This federal statute introduced a 44 hour, seven day work week, established the national minimum wage, guaranteed overtime pay in specific types of jobs at a rate of “time and a half”, and it defines oppressive child labor, which prohibits most employment of minors. The FLSA applies to those employees engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, unless the employer can claim an exemption from coverage.
“Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Title I does not allow any private employers, local, and state governments, labor unions and employment agencies from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, firing, hiring, job training, advancement and other terms, privileges, and conditions of employment” (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Individuals with disability have had a long history of maltreatment in America. From being thought of as possessed individuals in need of exorcism, targeted for heinous experiments, unknowingly sterilized, being labeled imbecile, feeble minded, and retarded, to being shipped off to state schools or mental asylums, those with disabilities were given no consideration as a valuable and able to contribute member of society. In a speech to congress, Frank Bowe, a highly educated deaf-man highlighted this claim by stating, “we are not even second-class citizens, we are third-class citizens” (Bowe, F. 1977--need citation), and Jim Cherry (2001) furthered the ideal in his words, that prior to “1970 we [disabled citizens] had no right to education, to employment, to transportation, to housing, or to voting. There were no civil rights laws for us, no federal advocacy grants. Few people looked beyond our medical needs” (Cherry, J.L, 2001 http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/0701/0701cov.htm). Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 attempted to fundamentally change how disabled people were reguarded.
According to Gary Dessler, “employers with 15 or more workers are prohibited from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities with regard to applications, hiring, discharge, compensation, advancement, training, or other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. It also says that employers must make ‘reasonable accommodations’ for physical or mental limitations unless doing so imposes an ‘undue hardship’ on the business.” It not only prohibits discrimination in employment but also outlaws most physical barriers in public accommodations, transportation, telecommunications, and government services.
Additionally, Section 8 proscribes federation fraudulent labor procedures, which include, in accordance to legal interpretation, failure to provide a reasonable representation to all participants of the bargaining constituent. (Office of the General Counsel, National Labor Relations Board, 1997)
People with disabilities have become an integral part of the workforce. The ADA forbids discrimination against people with disabilities when recruiting, hiring, training, and compensating employees (Sotoa & Kleiner, 2013). The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental and establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services (activities (Stryker, R. (2013). Employers are not allowed to ask employees if they have a disability. The employers are not allowed to ask employees with disabilities to undergo a medical exam before an offer of employment unless all applicants are required to take the same exam (Kaye, Jans, & Jones,
Employers should hire disabled workers and pay them at least minimum wage. People, that are willing and capable of working should be able to have a job that is enough to keep them off the streets. One of the nation's best-known charities, Goodwill is a multibillion dollar company where the executives make six figure salaries. This is company is just one of many that are allowed to pay their disabled workers far less than minimum wage, with as little as 22 cents an hour. This is aloud in the workforce because of the federal law known as Section 14 (c). “If they really do pay the CEO of Goodwill three-quarters of a million dollars, they certainly can pay me more than they’re paying,” says Harold Leigland. A legally blind citizen who hangs clothes
The common theme throughout the ADA is the unsuccessful ability to close the gap in employment for people with disabilities. A change that could be recommended to increase hiring individuals is having companies be held accountable for diversity in the workplace. Under Affirmative Action, companies use internal audits and reporting systems as a means to measure an employer's diversity in the workplace (About Affirmative, 2015). However, workplaces are not required to track or report on people with disabilities who have applied and were not hired. By making it a law for companies to report on why they did not hire a person or who they did hire can help track if companies are favoring one person's ability over another.
A person with a disability, or handicap, can be defined as someone with a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial or long-term adverse affect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities (Employment 2). Handicap workers face many challenges in the work place that the average person overlooks. Also, many special arrangements and alterations have been made to the workplace for people with handicaps. Accessibility, transportation, workload, and salary are just some of the many issues that must be considered with the prospect of employing the handicap.
Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers with fifteen or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities. Furthermore, the employment provisions of the Act require that employers provide equal opportunity in selecting, testing, and hiring qualified applicants with disabilities, job accommodations for applicants and workers with disabilities when such would not impose due hardship, and equal opportunity in promotion and benefits. (United States Department of Labor). If an employer is found liable for such discrimination, the fines can be extremely high. Therefore, it is important to know the definition of disability as determined by the ADA. A disability is a physical or mental impairment that essentially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual, a record of having such impairment, or being regarded as having such impairment (Bennett-Alexander and Hartman) and the individual should be able to prove such factors to establish a prima facie case in court. Despite of these definitions, a disability is determined based on the effect the impairment
A second disadvantage that disabled people experience is not getting an equivalent pay as a person without a disability would in the same employment. When disabled people are paid under the minimum wage it is called subminimum. “Under section 14(c) of