Landmark Decision Ordering Fair Pay from Sheltered Workshop

Disability Rights Ohio, NFB, and Autistic Self Advocacy Network Celebrate Landmark Decision Ordering Fair Pay from Sheltered Workshop press release“This decision cuts through the low expectations based on stereotypes and misconceptions that undergird the antiquated and discriminatory subminimum-wage employment model.”

In a precedent-setting opinion issued by an administrative law judge from the U.S. Department of Labor, three clients have been awarded minimum wage going forward and back pay from Seneca Re-Ad, a sheltered workshop run by the Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The original petition was filed by Disability Rights Ohio, the National Federation of the Blind, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and the Baltimore law firm of Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP.

The administrative law judge found that Seneca Re-Ad has not proven that the petitioners’ disabilities keep them from accomplishing the work. Further, the decision holds that their wages have not been calculated correctly. Therefore, Seneca must pay at least the minimum wage, instead of the $2.50 an hour paid to the petitioners for the last three years.

Dan Goldstein and Kevin Docherty assisted the DRO, the NFB and the ASAN in representing the petitioners.

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