(Change.org)–With blatant disrespect for low-wage workers, loopholes in federal minimum wage law offer businesses exemptions for certain types of employees, including teenagers, students, and people with mental and physical disablities. These vulnerable workers are taking jobs across the country without the labor protection they deserve.
The federal minimum wage exists for a reason: to protect low-wage employees from labor exploitation. By offering exemptions for young and disabled employees, it fails to fulfill this noble purpose.
Tell your members of Congress to contact the Department of Labor and ask them to remove all loopholes from current minimum wage policy — no exceptions.
According to current law, people under the age of 20 can be paid $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of their employment. As a result, teenagers can work an entire summer at less than 2/3 the federal minimum wage. In an economy where people will work for practically any price, businesses can continue this low-wage employment strategy almost indefinitely.
Furthermore, full-time students and disabled people can be exempt from minimum wage rates entirely if their employers receive a special certificate from the Department of Labor. People with mental disabilities are especially at risk, as they often lack the capability to defend themselves against unconscionably low wages.
These minimum wage loopholes amount to wholesale discrimination against vulnerable low-wage workers, and they need to end now. Ask your members of Congress to demand that the federal minimum wage become mandatory for all employees.