Roughly 13,000 disabled employees in Pennsylvania are earning only $2.40 an hour -- a rate that is disturbingly below the federal minimum wage, according to a new report issued by PublicSource.
The independent news agency says the data came from information that Pennsylvania employers submitted in applications to the U.S. Department of Labor seeking the authority to pay below minimum wage to workers with disabilities.
Because of the Fair Labor Standards Act, there has been no cap to how little a disabled employee can be paid. Under this provision (first passed during the Great Depression) the federal government can issue certificates that allow employers to pay sub-minimum wages.
After seven months of waiting for the department to fork over the documents, the information on individual workers revealed disturbing details on how little they can be paid under the department’s provision. Often the jobs are menial tasks, such as folding boxes or stuffing mail inserts. Read more at PBJ.com.