Target: Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Goal: Stop allowing disabled people to be paid less than the minimum wage.
Attention has recently been drawn towards the underpayment of disabled workers when a story recently broke of an autistic man who worked at an Applebees restaurant for a year and never received payment. Caleb Dyl worked at the chain restaurant for 480 hours, yet never once received a paycheck despite multiple complaints from the disabled man’s parents. His job coach described him as a “tireless worker,” yet he got paid as if he was not working at all. Sadly, Caleb is not alone in the battle against employers to fight for proper payment. One disabled woman in Maryland was only paid a minuscule six cents an hour, meaning she would have to work for 16 hours before making just a dollar.
These problems are rooted from the fact that there is no legal protection for disabled workers. While most of America is fighting for a higher minimum wage, the disabled workers community is fighting for the current minimum wage. Companies are legally allowed to pay disabled workers whatever they want and get away with it. At the same job a non-disabled person would be paid eight dollars an hour for, a disabled person could be earning mere pennies. With this extreme injustice in the workplace, companies often take advantage of disabled workers just like in Caleb Dyl’s case.
However, there is a bill that is trying to change all of this. The TIME act, recently proposed in Congress, is fighting for the workers of the disabled community. The bill calls for the gradual termination of sub minimum wages, making it illegal for companies to pay disabled workers any less than minimum wage. Sign this petition and urge Congress to pass this bill and stop discriminating against the disabled employees putting in just as much time and work as everyone else.
Dear Mr. Speaker,
I am writing you today because I am deeply disappointed at the treatment of disabled people in the workplace when it comes to their pay. It is currently legal for companies to pay disabled employees whatever they choose without consequences. Some disabled workers have reported making as little as six cents an hour at their jobs, meaning it would require 16 hours of work simply to make a dollar. Another disabled worker employed by Applebees worked for an entire year without receiving a single paycheck from the company. These employees are putting in as much time and effort as the other workers, yet are paid an alarmingly small rate.
Major corporations that have recognized this loophole have exploited it, taking advantage of their disabled employees and robbing them of the money they rightfully deserve. It is an injustice that a disabled person can fight their odds and put in a hard day’s work just like all of their coworkers, yet be paid such an incredibly insubstantial amount. The fact that this behavior from employers is legal sends the message that their is no one fighting for the work of the disabled people, and their time is not valued in the workplace.
A bill recently presented to Congress, named the TIME act, fights for the rights of disabled employees. The bill calls for equal pay for disabled employees and recognizes the value of their time alongside their non disabled coworkers. I urge you to pass this bill and end this long standing injustice towards the disabled community.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: The All-Nite Images