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Following Calls from Senator Hassan, Federal Agency Backs Ending Discriminatory Pay for Workers who Experience Disabilities

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ Report Cites Senator Hassan’s Letter and Highlights Legislation She Cosponsored that Would Phase Out the Practice of Paying Subminimum Wages Nationally

WASHINGTON – Following calls from U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights urged the repeal of a discriminatory federal policy that allows employers to pay subminimum wages to workers who experience disabilities. Earlier this year, the Senator wrote the Commission, calling on its members to support ending this discriminatory and unfair practice.


The Commission’s report cited Senator Hassan’s letter and specifically highlighted a bill she cosponsored, the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, which would phase out the practice of paying subminimum wages nationally and provide funding to help states and other entities provide individuals who experience disabilities with the resources that they need to transition to competitive integrated employment.


“As Governor, I led efforts to eliminate the payment of subminimum wages to individuals who experience disabilities in New Hampshire, and I am pleased that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is heeding my call to back the elimination of this discriminatory practice nationwide,” Senator Hassan said. “All across our state I’ve heard from business leaders who were perplexed as to why they were legally allowed to pay employees who experience disabilities less for equal work. This unjust practice must end, and I will keep pushing to ensure that individuals who experience disabilities are fully included in our society and receive fair compensation for their work.”  


Senator Hassan has led efforts in the Senate to bolster the civil rights of individuals who experience disabilities. Senator Hassan introduced legislation to help increase employment opportunities for Granite Staters and Americans who experience disabilities, and cosponsored legislation to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Senator is also working to support individuals with disabilities throughout this unprecedented pandemic, and led a group of her colleagues in urging the Department of Labor to better support workers who experience disabilities and who may be at particular risk as a result of COVID-19.