WASHINGTON, D.C. – There’s been talks of bumping up the federal minimum wage from to anywhere between 12 to 15 dollars an hour.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D- PA) is taking a closer work at increasing the wage for people with disabilities.
Democratic Senator Bob Casey is sponsoring legislation that moves to increase wages for people with disabilities. “It’s really a matter of basic fairness and its also one of the ways we tear out discrimination,” said Casey.
Right now, minimum wage stands at $7.25 but for people with disabilities, they earn subminimum wage, which is less than half of minimum wage. Subminimum wage is around $3.34.
According to Senator Casey, about one-hundred thousand people are making subminimum wage. Under this bill, subminimum wage would be phased out over the next five years. To help balance the higher costs, this bill will provide grants to states or employers that transition to a business model that pays at least minimum wage to workers with disabilities. However it’s unclear how much that will cost.
“Some of these businesses have been reliant on this subminimum wage since for a long time and we’ve got to help them make the transition,” said Casey.
This bill has bipartisan support. Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines has also signed onto this bill. Daines said we should support Americans with disabilities in the workforce and not treat them unfairly.
“Giving basic fairness to people with disabilities in the workplace to pay them a fair wage I don’t think that should be the subject of much controversy,” added Casey.
Senator Casey hopes this bill will move forward this year or by 2022.