December 21, 2011
Stopping Less Than Average Wages
Recently, a bill was introduced in Congress that would stop employers from paying people with physical/mental challenges less than average wages. Employers have been allowed to practice this since the ‘30s. Several members of Congress expressed disapproval regarding this topic.
“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 Democratic Representative Tim Bishop, who introduced the bill along with Republican Representative Cliff Stearns.
If the bill is passed, the Department of Labor would have to stop allowing certificates to companies to pay employees with physical/mental challenges less than average wages. Companies paying employers these types of wages would have three years to make the change. Minimum wage is presently $7.25 an hour.
This bill was introduced a few months after the US Senate chose not to discuss the topic of less than average wages after much controversy. Presently, no timeline has been issued as to when the topic will be discussed in the House. No bill similar to this has been discussed in the Senate.