Legislation has recently been introduced that would eliminate the federal certificate program that allows employers to pay disabled employees below minimum wage. The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011, sponsored by Representatives Cliff Stearns, Tim Bishop and Gregg Harper, looks to end the current government program that supports applications for special wage exemptions, HR Morning reports.

The current law regarding disabled workers' wages was put in place in 1938, according to the news source, and the bill sponsors have said they believe an updated policy is necessary to reflect the current hiring climate for people with disabilities. Back in 1938, opportunities for those with disabilities were very limited, and the law was put in place to encourage employers to hire these individuals. Today, thanks to improved training and technology, disabled workers can be just as productive as their peers, and the legislators believe the wage exemptions are no longer necessary.

According to the news provider, if the bill becomes law, the exemptions would no longer be issued, present certificates for private firms would expire in one year and public organizations' certificates would expire in two years, potentially altering payrolling services.

In another post, HR Morning asserts that companies must walk a fine line as they look for qualified people to perform job responsibilities without discriminating against someone with disabilities. HR departments should be well-versed in the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

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