Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Lisa Herbold announced changes to Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance to prevent employers from paying people with disabilities less than the minimum wage.
The loophole stems from the Washington state law that exempts employers from paying the minimum wage to learners, apprentices, people who carry letters and messages and disabled people if they receive a special certificate.
The Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities unanimously supported ending this exemption.
“Subminimum wages are an outdated practice that inherently devalue the employee receiving them,” Herbold said in a statement. “With so few subminimum wage certificates issued to employers, now is the perfect time to end this practice and lead the region in ending this discriminatory policy.”
The Office of Labor Standards will issue revisions to the ordinance in August, and the City Council is expected to vote on them before the end of the year.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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