New Hampshire – Governor Maggie Hassan has signed a new law prohibiting employers from paying employees with disabilities sub-minimum wages.
According to Hassan, the law is an important measure that will serve to mitigate the exploitation of those with disabilities who are currently in the workforce. As a result, the passing of the legislation will essentially serve to overhaul the previous system pertaining to the financial compensation of disabled employees in workplaces. In the past, sub-minimum wages were considered an effective way to provide equitable job opportunities to a segment of the population that was generally characterized by high unemployment levels.
Essentially, many adults with developmental disabilities faced a lack of viable job opportunities upon entering adulthood and as a result, governments believed that allowing them to be paid low wages would increase their chances of securing a position. However the practice led to the exploitation of many workers nationwide prompting New Hampshire to enact measures that will now be implemented. Hassan however, argues that the new law will serve to benefit the community as well stating:
“This generational progress toward including every single one of us into the heart and soul of our democracy,our communities, our economy, has a great ripple effect, not only for individuals and not only for their families but for our economy too.”
Source: Brady Carlson on the New Hampshire Public Radio website: New Hampshire Bans Lower-Than-Minimum Wages For Workers With Disabilities