Better Pay for the Disabled

“Doubly Disabled in Life” (editorial, April 12) is right to condemn the “segregated lives and workplace serfdom” that are the fate of well over 400,000 workers with disabilities. The Rhode Island agreement, which will help the disabled obtain training and better-paying jobs, is indeed a positive step, but it is not sufficient to end the abuse of these workers across America.

That is why I have introduced the Fair Wages for Workers With Disabilities Act (H.R. 831), which is cosponsored by 77 of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle and supported by more than 70 organizations. My bill would responsibly phase out over a three-year period the practice of paying workers with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage, thereby ending wage discrimination against these workers and shifting the focus to helping them obtain competitive, integrated employment.

As your editorial pointed out, the end of the “economic servitude and social exile” of workers with disabilities is long overdue.

Washington, April 14, 2014

The writer, a Republican, represents Mississippi’s Third District in the House.

NY Times