Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Bobby Scott Statement on Report to Repeal Subminimum Wage for People with Disabilities

Sep 17, 2020

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, released the following statements on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 2020 report on the subminimum wage and its impact on people with disabilities. In the report, the Commission recommends Congress “repeal Section 14(c) with a planned phase-out period to allow transition among service providers and people with disabilities to alternative service models prioritizing competitive integrated employment.”

“I agree with this recommendation from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,” said McMorris Rodgers. “I’m leading with Chairman Bobby Scott on the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, which would phase out the subminimum wage for people with disabilities and strengthen programs to help more people find meaningful work. As America rebuilds from the health and economic crises created by the coronavirus, we must ensure people with disabilities aren’t left behind. Just like everyone else, they deserve every chance to be part of America’s comeback with a job that affirms their dignity and purpose. That’s what makes a job more than just a paycheck. It’s an opportunity for a better life. To empower more people with disabilities, Congress should listen to the Commission’s findings and take action by sending our Transformation to Competitive Employment Act to President Trump’s desk.”

“Every worker deserves fulfilling employment and economic self-sufficiency. The Commission’s report reveals what we already know to be true: Subminimum wages for people with disabilities is antiquated and inherently discriminatory,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. “The report also confirms that competitive integrated employment is critical for increasing productivity, promoting financial independence, and attaining equal opportunity in our workforce. Thirty years after the Americans with Disabilities Act, we have yet to fully achieve equity for people with disabilities. That’s why we must advance the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582), which passed the House last year, and the bipartisan Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (H.R. 873)—two critical pieces of legislation that fulfill both the recommendations of this report and the core values of our nation’s civil rights laws.”

Note: In January 2019, McMorris Rodgers and Scott introduced the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, which provides states, service providers, subminimum wage certificate holders, and other agencies with the resources to help workers with disabilities transition into competitive, integrated employment.

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