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Possible wage raise for special needs workers

MISSISSIPPI- People of every race, gender, and economic status expect fair wages for their time worked. That expectation should also be set for those special needs individuals also in the work force.

WDAM reports that thousands of people with special needs earn less than the minimum wage at about $2.50 an hour. Currently this is legal under Federal law, however United State Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss) feels some companies might be taking advantage of it.

It is regulated by 14 (C), Harper proposed the TIME Act earlier in 2015. This would phase out special wage certificates during a three year period.

Many believe that special needs workers, whatever degree, can be trained to work and should earn at least a minimum wage. Harper finds this topic hits close to home because of his own sons experience as a special needs man in the work force.

However others see the potential for negative effects, such as Alabama ARC executive director. Sudan Klingel says that if special work certificates are done away with then jobs that provide rehabilitative therapy for employees with special needs would very likely go away too.

Harper and others say wage or occupational limits shouldn’t be places on individuals with disabilities.

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