National Council on Disability Report on Subminimum Wage and Supported Employment

The National Council on Disability (NCD) has issued a report, Subminimum Wage and Supported Employment. The report is the result of a review over the last year by NCD of the use of the subminimum wage for persons with disabilities, authorized under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In its report, NCD recommends phasing out the subminimum wage and makes other policy recommendations designed to increase opportunities for integrated employment at or above the minimum wage for people with disabilities. NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.

Bill to phase out special wage certificates introduced

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-NY) introduced H.R. 3086, the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011. The bill seeks to immediately end issuance of new special wage certificates for workers with disabilities under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to phase out existing certificates over a 3 year period. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which has scheduled no action on the bill.  There is no companion bill in the Senate.

Labor and ABA join forces to resolve family medical leave and fair labor complaints

In the first-ever collaboration between a federal agency and the private bar, the Department of Labor (DOL) and American Bar Association (ABA) will join forces to resolve Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) complaints that DOL cannot handle due to limited capacity. Congress provided workers the right to pursue their own private litigation (private right of action) under these laws, but finding an attorney with the necessary experience and subject matter expertise to represent them can be difficult. Workers with complaints will be referred to the ABA for referrals to lawyers experienced in FMLA or FLSA. DOL’s press release about the program is at http://www.dol.gov/whd/resources/ABAReferralPolicy.htm