Harper Introduces Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act of 2015
Washington, DC - U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) introduced yesterday the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act of 2015 (H.R. 188) seeking to responsibly phase out the use of Special Wage Certificates under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that would facilitate the transitioning of people with disabilities now working in sheltered, segregated employment, sometimes for pennies per hour, to integrated employment positions paying competitive wages.
“Section 14(c) of the FLSA, enacted out of ignorance regarding the true capacity of people with disabilities, currently prevents over three-hundred thousand people with disabilities from gaining access to the work and training environments that have been proven to be more cost effective and to produce more competitive integrated work outcomes." said Harper. "Segregated, subminimum-wage work is just an expression of low expectations that instills a false sense of incapacity in individuals who could become competitively employed with the proper training and support. It unjustly prohibits workers with disabilities from reaching their full potential.”
Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The National Federation of the Blind and our partners representing the 55 million Americans with disabilities fight every day to obtain the equality and respect in the workplace that nondisabled citizens take for granted. We applaud Congressman Harper for having the courage to confront over seventy years of entrenched but false thinking about the capacity of people with disabilities. We strongly urge his colleagues in both houses of the United States Congress to exhibit the same courage by recognizing that it is time to reject an antiquated and ineffective employment model for one that truly values workers with disabilities.”
Gregg Harper is a fourth-term Republican lawmaker from Mississippi.