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About TIME: 3 Public Criticisms of Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Jun 2015 11:35 AM

The Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act was proposed by Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss) in January 2015. The act, if passed, would prohibit employers from obtaining special wage certificates that allow them to pay disabled employees less than the federal minimum wage.

The proposed legislation, on which Congress has not yet voted, has the support of various organizations that support the disabled, including the National Federation of the Blind, The Arc, and the Association of People Supporting Employment First but still faces public criticism.

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Below are the most common criticisms of the TIME Act:

1. The TIME Act Will Hinder the Severely Disabled
Special wage certificates allow employers to pay the severely disabled whose productivity is notably lessened by their disability less.

Bob Brown, father of a severely disabled daughter who earns $35 every few weeks at a local warehouse told Las Vegas Review Journal in 2013 that his daughter only does a miniscule amount of work while at the warehouse and mostly “plays her DS game and watches a movie.”

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He maintains that the “no pressure, no stress” job is “about quality of life and pride in earning a paycheck,” not about money. While the TIME Act may help disabled workers who are fully functioning, the Act would harm others like Brown’s daughter, whose pseudo-job provides her with satisfaction and a better life.

2. Increasing Wages for the Disabled Will Make Employers Less Likely to Hire Them

Jim Gibbons , CEO and president of Goodwill Industries International, told The Huffington Post that Goodwill uses special wage certificates to employ disabled individuals “who otherwise might not be a part of the workforce.” The TIME Act, which would abolish special wage certificates, would thus increase the number of unemployed disabled Americans.

3. The TIME Act Places the Burden of Rehabilitation Efforts on Employers
The idea behind special wage certificates is for employers to pay for only the productivity their disabled employees yield. Paying disabled workers the normal minimum wage requires employees to more extensively train disabled employees and overburdens employers with vocational rehabilitation efforts

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The Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act was proposed by Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss) in January 2015.
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Tuesday, 02 Jun 2015 11:35 AM
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