ADVANCING EMPLOYMENT WEBINAR SERIES FOCUSES ON ENDING SUBMINIMUM WAGES IN GEORGIA
(April 19, 2022, Atlanta, Ga.) – The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities’ (GCDD) DD Network Partner, Advancing Employment is hosting a webinar series in April and May about ending subminimum wage in Georgia for people with disabilities. For decades, it has been legal to pay people with disabilities less than minimum wages. In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed and specified standards for basic minimum wage rates and overtime pay. It also created a special exemption authorizing employers to pay wages significantly lower than the minimum wage to workers with disabilities. Progressive at the time, these wage provisions were originally created to encourage the employment of veterans with disabilities in a manufacturing-centered economy. Nowadays, paying significantly lower than the minimum wage to workers with disabilities is seen more and more as inequitable and challenging to civil rights.
The webinar series focuses on ending subminimum wages in Georgia. These free webinars are open to everyone -- people with disabilities, family members, providers, business leaders, and community members. Advancing Employment is encouraging the public to register for the webinar series, especially for those who are not sure about their support for the elimination of subminimum wages or know nothing about the topic. The dates for the free webinars are April 19th, April 27th, May 3rd, and May 13th.
The topic for Tuesday, April 19th is “Twenty-Two Cents an Hour: Disability Rights and the Fight to End Subminimum Wages.” Doug Crandell, MFA, Advancing Employment Director at the Institute on Human Development and Disability, University of Georgia is the speaker. This webinar will focus on the impact poor public policy makes on the lives of workers with disabilities. Drawing on ongoing federal Department of Justice lawsuits, the horrifying story of Henry's Turkey Farm in Iowa, and more, Doug will focus on the history of the policies that have led to these unjust outcomes and will consider important questions about the rise of a disability industrial complex. We will also examine the two bills in Congress related to the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment. The meeting is from 2pm-3pm. To register for this webinar, click here.
The second webinar titled “Reviewing Subminimum Wages in Georgia: Comprehending the Past to Change the Future” is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27th from 10am-11am.
Speakers for this webinar are Julie Kegley, J.D., Senior Staff Attorney and Program Director and Cheri Mitchell, Advocate and Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Coordinator, Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO). Building from Doug Crandell's discussion of the history and status of subminimum wages at the federal level, this webinar will discuss the status of 14c at the State of Georgia level. We will talk about the many Georgians with disabilities who still are being paid subminimum wages and the reasons behind this fact. We will review advocacy efforts of the past to end subminimum wages in Georgia and current challenges to eliminating it. To register for this webinar, click here.
The third webinar in the series is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd from 10am-11am. The topic is “Challenging the Arguments for Continuing Subminimum Wages in Georgia.”
Aarti Sahgal, Founder & CEO of Synergies Work is the guest speaker. As a mother of a young man with intellectual and developmental disabilities and a professional building inclusive communities and workforce strategies for individuals with disabilities, Aarti Sahgal will discuss in this webinar how people with disabilities are productive members of their communities and have rights to pay that is congruent with their peers without disabilities. Ms. Sahgal will speak to common arguments for continuing subminimum wages and how she has observed people in the community thriving when they have access to real employment opportunities. To register for this webinar, click here.
The last webinar in the series scheduled for Friday, May 13th from 10am-11am is titled “Advocating for State Policy Changes Through Coalition-Building and Community Organizing.” The guest speaker is Stacey Ramirez, Founding Partner of Crimminz & Associates. This webinar will discuss ways all stakeholders can advocate for the phasing out of subminimum wages in Georgia. Participants will learn about the importance and strategies of coalition-building and community organizing to advance competitive integrated employment for all Georgians who experience disabilities. This final webinar will pave a path for us to band together to create a powerful collaboration of people who can advocate for change at the state level. We will also explore the legalities of supporting policies for employees of the state. To register for this webinar, click here.
Each webinar will be audio-recorded and transcribed using Zoom Live Transcription. The final three webinars are funded through a contract with the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) called Supporting Coalition-Building to Phase Out 14c. Advancing Employment is dedicated to building a community for inclusive employment in Georgia, where individuals with disabilities, their families, service providers, and others interested in employment can learn and connect with one another.
About the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities: The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is the State's leader in advancing public policy on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities. Its mission is to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for the wide spectrum of diverse people/persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play, and worship in their communities. For more information, visit at www.gcdd.org.