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The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity act states that competitive, integrated employment is the new best practice. It is time to do away with age old practices, embrace the many talents of people with disabilities and end sub-minimum wage now.

Bill Details

On Thursday, Representative Liberati of the 13th District introduced HB-5587 which will end the practice of paying Sub-Mininimum wage in Michigan.  

Agency Collaboration:

The elimination of sub-minimum wage is central to the eradication of the economic disparities that people with disabilities face. Earning a livable, fair wage is an essential part of community participation. It is time to assure all members of society have such opportunities. Elimination of sub-minimum wage will bring Michigan into the 21st century. The Statewide Independent Living Council, Developmental Disabilities Council, Michigan Protection and Advocacy and many other organizations  support steps in this direction and look forward to the day when everyone’s contributions are recognized by society in meaningful ways. 

Success Stories:

Jamie Reis of Saginaw worked in a supported employment environment cleaning hotels. She was paid less than minimum wage for years.  She began to advocate for herself and got a job on her own with another hotel. Here, she is paid minimum wage and is now able to support herself and her three children. This could not have been possible before. Paying sub-minimum wages to people with disabilities for quality work is an unfair practice and it needs to stop.

We want to hear from you:

Please let us know via the Contact Section of this web site if you are someone who has transitioned from sub-minimum wage to competitive integrated employment.  

Repealing the sub-minimum wage is a good start. By repealing the sub-minimum wage, we let people know the life they want is obtainable and their passion should not be limited by their disability. The goal is to offer integrated employment where there is no segregation and everyone is paid equally. A disability does not define worth and it should not limit the life they are entitled to have.
— Elmer Cerano, Executive Director of Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS)
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National Efforts:

Raise the Wage Act of 2017

On May 25, 2017  S.1243 Senate bill was introduced named Raise the Wage Act. which would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 and would also gradually eliminate the loophole that allows workers with disabilities to be paid substantially less than the federal minimum wage and bring it to parity with the regular minimum wage.


Michigan Reports:

Many vocational rehabilitation service providers fail to provide adequate training that results in meaningful community-based employment. As a result, many Michiganders with disabilities who are “employed” are perpetually limited to work in sheltered workshops that segregate individuals with disabilities from individuals without disabilities. Moreover, the options of the type of employment are predominately limited to piece work and/or contract work, often paying wages below the minimum and/or prevailing wage.

2014 Michigan Employment First Report

National Reports:

"Importantly, work for people with disabilities should be in jobs that pay a competitive wage and offer adequate benefits and accommodations. This includes moving people from sheltered workshops and other segregated settings to integrated employment and completely removing subminimum wage jobs. " - NCD Progress Report

National Council On Disability Progress Report