UPDATE: As of May 2022 both The Employment First Initiative Act and the bill to end subminimum wage were combined and signed into law! We are celebrating in SC!
Employment First Initiative Act: Bill H.3244 was introduced in the SC House of Representatives and passed in 2021. It is now waiting to be heard by the SC Senate.
People with disabilities are two times more likely to experience job loss and unemployment than those without disabilities. The Employment First Initiative Act (bill H.3244) must pass this legislative year (2022)! Employment First means that employment in the community should be the first and preferred option for people with disabilities. It means real jobs for real wages. Learn more about employment first here. Employment First efforts are needed to develop strong public policy at the state level:
- This Act would develop the Employment First Oversight Commission. An oversight commission is a group of people who have authority to study and make recommendations about a topic.
- This would make our state to be a leader in inclusive hiring practices. This means hiring people based on their skills and abilities, regardless of whether they are disabled or not.
- This Act would encourage businesses to include people with disabilities in the workforce by providing incentives. An incentive is a payment, tax break, lowered fee, or no-cost option to encourage people and businesses to do something.
Take action now: Tell your state legislators to support inclusive disability employment by supporting the SC Employment First Initiative Act (H.3244)!
Phasing out subminimum wage in South Carolina: Bill S.533 was introduced in the SC Senate and passed unanimously in 2021. It is now waiting to be heard by the SC House.
Nearly 1,000 South Carolinians with disabilities are limited to “work activity centers” or sheltered workshop settings. These are places where people with disabilities are segregated from non-disabled people to work for subminimum wages. They may make less than one dollar per hour. From these settings, less than 5% transition into community-based employment. These are jobs where people with disabilities can work alongside non-disabled peers.
- The state must provide a plan to offer employment support services for individuals with disabilities as they transition to competitive, community-based employment.
- SC lawmakers must pass bill S.533 to end this outdated and harmful practice.
Take action now: Tell your state legislators Subminimum wage must be phased out and vote YES on S. 533!