WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTAJ) — U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Steve Dains (R-MT) introduced bipartisan legislation that would support workers with disabilities and raise wages for people being paid subminimum wage.
If passed, The Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (TCIEA) would end a current practice of employees with disabilities being paid less than minimum wage, sometimes a salary as low as a few cents an hour.
“Every American deserves to be paid a fair wage, but unfortunately that is not the case for many Americans with disabilities. Some workers with disabilities spend decades earning a subminimum wage without the opportunity to gain new skills or move to a job that pays a higher wage,” Senator Bob Casey said.
An estimated 100,000 people in the United States are paid a subminimum wage, according to a report done by the Department of Labor. The TCIEA would prohibit the U.S. Secretary of Labor from allowing this type of employment as well as phase out the practice over five years.
“At a time when our country is facing a significant workforce shortage, individuals with disabilities are ready to work,” Chairman, National Organization on Disability, Tom Ridge, said.