Alaska Bans Subminimum Wage for Workers with Disabilities

Workers with DisabilitiesAlaska is the latest state to eliminate subminimum wage for workers with disabilities. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are allowed to pay wages less than the Federal minimum wage to workers who have disabilities for the work being performed. New Hampshire and Maryland were the first states in the country to eliminate this minimum wage exemption. Effective February 16, 2018, Alaska employers are prohibited from paying workers with disabilities wages lower than the state’s minimum wage.

As described in the Fair Labor Standards Act and Alaska Statutes, employment at less than the minimum wage is authorized to prevent curtailment of opportunities. For years, minimum wage exemptions have been considered necessary to help individuals with disabilities gain employment. However, in recent years, many Americans have shifted views on how to help individuals with disabilities gain employment. For example, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658 establishing a minimum wage to be paid to workers, including those with disabilities, performing on or in connection with a covered contract with the Federal Government.

Alaska’s elimination of the minimum wage exemption confirms that workers with disabilities are valuable members of the workforce. With advocates pushing for equal treatment for individuals with disabilities, it is very likely that more states will follow in banning the subminimum wage. CPC will continue to follow this topic, make sure to visit soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *