SourceAmerica commends the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) within the U.S. Department of Labor for creating a platform for organizations, families, and individuals to offer diverse perspectives on the use of Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This is a critical issue which impacts an individual's quality of life and their ability to make informed choices so this type of open collection of perspectives from all involved is vital.
SourceAmerica's Board of Directors recently adopted a position on the use of 14(c) special minimum wage certificates in support of the goals established by the US AbilityOne Commission:
"SourceAmerica is fully committed to maximum pay for people with disabilities and supports the elimination of Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act for all AbilityOne employees. As such, SourceAmerica will leverage the knowledge and experience of its nonprofit network and will invest significant resources toward a transition support program, which will include:
• Financial assistance to transitioning nonprofits;
• Enhanced productivity engineering supports; and
• Research and data collection that will inform Congress about the implications of the transition for individuals and communities
across the nation."
While we are actively working to support transitions within our network, we also are engaging in research as we remain concerned about the potential for unintended consequences that could be faced by individuals with significant disabilities resulting from 14(c) elimination. The data collection aspect of our transition support plan will be critical to our shared understanding of both the positive and negative outcomes, and to inform policymakers and the community. Our goal is to mitigate potential unintended consequences to individuals, their families, and community employers/providers through the financial and technical resources we will offer, and continue to refine, based on data, experience, and the needs of community stakeholders.
We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with ODEP and other key stakeholders to develop policy recommendations and strategies to ensure that there is a system-wide infrastructure in place to support individuals that may be affected by changes to Section 14(c).