Monday, January 6, 2014

Subminimum Wage for People With Disabilities Debate

As part of the New Deal of the 1930’s, subminimum wage was allowed for people with disabilities. Employers can apply for waivers under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Rates for workers with disabilities are decided upon by comparing what their productivity level is to that of an experienced worker without disabilities.

Advocates against subminimum wages believe more money should be spent on training programs that are more creative and provide more challenging work than wrapping plastic ware at restaurants or folding boxes, repetitive task work that is common amongst employed workers with disabilities.

Here are some pros and cons to the consider:

FOR Subminimum Wage

- work provides training for better, higher-paying jobs
- jobs give individuals structure, keep them busy
- working at any job challenges individuals
- eliminating subminimum wage would mean employing fewer people within a population that already has a very high unemployment rate
- a subminimum wage is better than no job at all

AGAINST Subminimum Wage

- people get stuck in their job for years and never advance or leave
- low pay is unjust
- people with disabilities are not fully integrated into the workforce
- allows for abuses against people with disabilities
- stigmatizes people with disabilities





  1. Well, at least Obama is taking a small step in the right direction and sending a message to the private sector, ie the 14(c)'s like Goodwill Industries

    1. Yes, I actually updated a follow-up post to this one. Thanks for sharing your information!