Advocates aim for more and better paying jobs for people with disabilities, who sometimes make less than minimum wage

By Tabitha Mueller

March 16, 2020

During the 2019 legislative session, a bill designed to phase out “subminimum wage” — the practice of paying disabled employees less than the minimum wage and sometimes as little as three to four cents an hour — died without a vote.

But the push is not over. With help from a state grant, disabilities rights advocates along with the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities are convening roundtables with employers to discuss roadblocks to hiring people with disabilities. Beginning in August, they plan to work with legislators to submit bill draft requests addressing wage and employment challenges.

“What I’m hoping for is that … we’re able to bring state agencies together in a real spirit of collaboration around a subpopulation of individuals within our state who have really seen their rights sort of trampled upon to some degree historically,” CJ Fields, an education programs professional with the Office of Inclusive Education at the Nevada Department of Education, told The Nevada Independent. “It’s about having them have the same opportunity and rights in our society as their typically developing peers.”

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