CPR is a strong advocate for federal and state policies that support opportunities for real work for real wages for people with disabilities.
Currently people with disabilities are allowed to be paid less than minimum wage. Under section 14c of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), companies can pay employees with disabilities as little as $1 an hour. These sub-minimum wages wages create and reinforce lives of poverty and dependency. CPR is fighting to end this discriminatory law and ensure that all people are paid a fair wage.
CPR recently supported two bills that were introduced in Jan. 2019 to advance opportunities for real work for real wages for people with disabilities, including:
- a bill expanding competitive integrated employment; and
- a bill ending subminimum wage for people with disabilities.
CPR staff played a lead role on a federal advisory committee that made recommendations to Congress and the U.S. Labor Secretary on the employment of people with disabilities. The Advisory Committee was created under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 that sets competitive integrated employment of people with disabilities as a national priority. Competitive integrated employment means jobs in the community for people with disabilities – jobs where they interact with non-disabled co-workers, and are paid the same, treated the same, and are entitled to the same benefits as non-disabled co-workers. Read more about WIOA and the Advisory Committee on their website.
CPR continues to monitor two rules establishing goals for the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities for federal jobs. One rule, being implemented by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, requires federal agencies to adopt a goal to have 12% of its workforce be people with disabilities and 2% be people with targeted disabilities (including people with intellectual, developmental, or serious psychiatric disabilities). Agencies also must provide personal assistance services (help with activities of daily living like eating or using the restroom) as a reasonable accommodation. The second rule, which is being implemented by the US Department of Labor, sets a nationwide goal that 7% of the workers on federal contracts be people with disabilities.
In addition, CPR is scrutinizing the states’ implementation of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act that allows people with disabilities to work, maintain savings accounts and retain eligibility for critical healthcare and community services provided through Medicaid. In the past, many individuals were forced to pass on work opportunities in order to qualify for Medicaid services. Presently, many states are establishing ABLE accounts so people with disabilities can have savings accounts exceeding $2,000 and still be eligible for Medicaid, as long as they use the savings for services not covered by Medicaid, such as education, housing and transportation. Visit ABLE’s website.
CPR continues to work with attorneys and advocates across the nation on promoting opportunities for employment for individuals with disabilities.
Additional resources regarding employment of people with disabilities are available at: