Protestors Demand Equal Pay for the Disabled
Protestors congregated in front of a Goodwill store in Dover, Delaware on August 25 to oppose a national law that allows companies to pay subminimum wage to disabled employees. The protest was organized by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and was among nearly 80 similar events throughout the country on that day.
The NFB has focused on Goodwill Industries because the CEO, Jim Gibbons, is blind and earns more than $500,000 a year.
A bi-partisan bill in Congress with 81 co-sponsors seeks to repeal the section of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in controversy. Section 14(c) of the FLSA allows employers to pay less than the federal minimum wage to disabled employees. The Department of Labor claims the law “is designed to prevent the loss of employment opportunities for these individuals.” The bill in Congress would allow for a three year phase-in period to reach full minimum wage.
Federal wage and hour law is governed by the FLSA. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25. However, in cases where an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage. California law has set minimum wage at $8.00. Paying employees minimum wage is an obligation of the employer and cannot be waived by any agreement, including collective bargaining agreements.
If your employer does not pay you required minimum wages, contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.