An administrative law judge from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) has awarded minimum wage and back pay to three individuals with disabilities working at Re-Ad, a facility-based employment center managed by the Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Seneca County, Ohio.
As INARF first reported in November, the three workers filed the petition with support from Disability Rights Ohio, the National Federation of the Blind, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, and the Baltimore law firm of Brown, Goldstein, & Levy, LLP. The three individuals had been paid an average of $2.50 an hour for over three years. Using a little-known provision within the law that permits employers to pay workers with disabilities at a special minimum wage, the workers petitioned for administrative review of their wages.
According to a press release from Disability Rights Ohio, the administrative law judge found that Seneca Re-Ad has not proven that the petitioners’ disabilities keep them from accomplishing the work. Further, the decision holds that their wages have not been calculated correctly. Therefore, Seneca must pay at least the minimum wage.
INARF congratulates these individuals on their successful efforts to obtain fair pay for their work and applauds the advocacy of Disability Rights Ohio, the National Federation of the Blind, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, and Brown, Goldstein, & Levy, LLP on behalf of these individuals.