Employment: Two Employment Bills Introduced in the Senate

On January 29, Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced two bills related to employment for people with disabilities. The first bill, the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (S.260), will phase out 14(c) subminimum wage certificates over six years and provides grants for technical assistance and provider transformation.

The second, the Disability Employment Incentives Act (S.255), increases three tax credits for employers. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides incentives for businesses that hire people referred by vocational rehabilitation, or who are on Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance, would be increased from $2,400 to $5,000. The Disability Access Expenditures Tax Credit will be increased from $5,000 to $10,000. The Architectural and Transportation Barrier Tax Credit will be increased from $15,000 to $30,000.

Executive Order Sets Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors; Includes People with Disabilities Employed under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act

Last week, the President signed an Executive Order establishing a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour for federal contractors and subcontractors. The Executive Order covers service and construction contracts and subcontracts (products are not covered), effective January 1, 2015. The wage rate will apply to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts, and will be indexed annually for inflation.  As stated by the White House, “Under current law, workers whose productivity is affected because of their disabilities may be paid less than the wage paid to others doing the same job under certain specialized certificate programs. Under this Executive Order, all individuals working under service or concessions contracts with the federal government will be covered by the same $10.10 per hour minimum wage protections.” To read The Arc’s statement, visit our blog.