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Daily Action: Support Competitive Employment for Persons with Disabilities


CONTACT:
Rep. Julia Brownley: 
DC: (202) 225-5811
Thousand Oaks: (805) 379-1779
Rep. Ted Lieu:
DC: (202) 225-3976
LA: (323) 651-1040
Rep. Katie Hill:
DC: (202) 225-1956


Sample Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a constituent of Representative ___________'s in _______________, California. I am calling to support the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities by urging the congressperson to co-sponsor HR 873, the Transition to Competitive Employment Act. It would stop employers from exploiting the labor of persons with disabilities by paying them less than the minimum wage or forcing them to work in segregated settings. Employers need to be guided along the path toward income and workplace equality, and this bill provides numerous provisions that will allow for a smooth transition. Thank you!


BACKGROUND
From the Collaboration to Promote Self Determination, a disability rights advocacy group:

Most people with disabilities want to work, live independently and be economically self-sufficient. Unfortunately, employment for people with disabilities continues to lag significantly compared to those without disabilities. For too many people with disabilities, their only option is to work in segregated settings called “sheltered workshops,” where they are isolated from co-workers without disabilities and the broader society and are legally paid pennies on the dollar under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The bipartisan Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (H.R. 873/S. 260) will address barriers to employment and expand opportunities for competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities while phasing out sub-minimum wage certificates over a six-year period. The grants provided under this bill would provide technical assistance and funding to help states and 14(c) certificate holders move to a paradigm of more integrated and innovative approaches to disability employment. The grants would bring stakeholders together to develop the system infrastructure and align funding for competitive integrated employment and ensure that ending the sub-minimum wage is done thoughtfully to avoid unintended consequences for individuals with disabilities.