Seeking Equality in Wages for Employees with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
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This Comment discusses the little-known exception to the minimum wage within the Fair Labor Standards Act that allows individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be paid at a rate below the federal minimum wage rate. Starting with background information regarding the progression of labor laws, this Comment addresses the current paradigm of the “sheltered workshop” and the current protections for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the workforce. It will provide specific examples of exploitation that has occurred as a result of this practice, as well as an overview of opposing arguments in the controversy surrounding the sub-minimum wage. Additionally, this Comment will provide a look into how developments in this area are being addressed at the federal and state levels and why the allowance for a sub-minimum wage as applied to intellectually and developmentally disabled persons should be discontinued.