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Seattle Bans Sub-minimum Wage for Disabled

April 17, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

SEATTLE, Wash.—The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Apr. 2 to prohibit employers from paying people with disabilities less than the city’s minimum wage. The city’s minimum-wage law, enacted in 2015, had allowed employers to apply for exemptions that let them pay less than the minimum, which now ranges from $11.50 an hour at employers who provide medical benefits to $15.45 at businesses with more than 500 employees that don’t. “We should have the same labor rights as anyone else,” Shaun Bickley, cochair of the city Commission for People with DisAbilities, told the Seattle Times. Only eight people were being paid the subminimum in Seattle as of last August, but more than 700 are being paid lower wages under a similar state law. Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maryland have previously prohibited subminimum wages for the disabled, but Seattle is the first U.S. city to do so, according to the Council. Read more

April 17, 2018

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