Comments are due this Thursday, July 17th regarding the rules for implementing President Obama’s February 2014 Executive Order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 per hour. Due to the advocacy efforts of APSE and other organizations, employees with disabilities who work for federal contractors were included within the Executive Order. But the work is not done!
The US Department of Labor (DOL) has released proposed rules for implementing this Executive Order, which will be gradually implemented over the next five years with new federal contracts. It is absolutely critical that APSE members and other advocates let DOL know that you support these proposed rules and the full inclusion of people with disabilities within them. You can do this in less than 10 minutes! Here’s how:
- On or before this Thursday, July 17th, go to the regulations.gov website.
- Click on Comment Now and in a few sentences, tell DOL that you support the proposed rule, and in particular the requirement that people with disabilities must be paid the new federal contractor wage of $10.10 per hour. If you want, you can just cut and paste the suggested comments below, or use these as a starting point.
- Via email and social media, let other like-minded advocates know about the need to show their support for these proposed rules.
Thanks for taking a few minutes to advocate for the full economic inclusion of people with disabilities.
I want to express my full support of proposed rule: 29 CFR Part 10: Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors. As an advocate for employment of citizens with disabilities in the general workforce, I am particularly pleased to see language that makes it clear that employees with disabilities whose wages are calculated under a special certificate issued under 29 U.S.C. 214(c) must be paid the Executive Order 13658 minimum wage of $10.10 (to be adjusted annually). I strongly urge the Secretary of Labor to maintain this strong language in the final rule, and not make any modifications that would in any way weaken the full inclusion of citizens with disabilities within this Executive Order. There are concerns being expressed by others regarding the potential loss of jobs by individuals with disabilities due to this Executive Order. However, such a view is completely unsubstantiated, and based on a narrow view of the capabilities of people with disabilities. The evidence is very clear that with the right job match along with accommodations and supports as needed, individuals with disabilities are fully capable of providing sufficient value to a business operating as a federal contractor, that fully substantiates the payment of $10.10 per hour or higher.
While I am highly supportive of the proposed rule, I am requesting that additional language be added to Appendix A to Part 10, the clause which contractors and subcontractors are to incorporate into lower-tier subcontracts. This language is silent on the issue of payment to workers under special wage certificates, and is implied only by reference to the Executive Order and rules. To ensure that people with disabilities are paid the federal contractor minimum wage or higher, this requirement should be explicitly stated in the clause used by federal contractors and subcontractors, via the following language added as (b) (4), which is based on language from the introductory section of the proposed rules.
“(b) Minimum Wages
(4) If the commensurate wage rate paid to a worker on a covered contract whose wages are calculated pursuant to a special certificate issued under 29 U.S.C. 214(c), whether hourly or piece rate, is less than the Executive Order minimum wage, the contractor must pay the Executive Order minimum wage rate to achieve compliance with the Order. If the commensurate wage due under the certificate is greater than the Executive Order minimum wage, the contractor must pay the 14(c) worker the greater commensurate wage.”
Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on these proposed rules.