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Reps. Jarrells, Lipps Introduce Legislation Transitioning Ohio Away from Paying Subminimum Wages

February 21, 2024
Dontavius L. Jarrells News

COLUMBUS – State Reps. Dontavius L. Jarrells (D-Columbus) and Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) today announced that they have formally introduced legislation to phase out the payment of subminimum wages to individuals with disabilities in Ohio over the next five years.

Ohio would join 16 other states that have already legislated against the practice, and several others who are in the process of doing so. The bill also directs the Employment First Task Force to assist employers in this transition, develop recommendations, and ensure alignment of developmental disability services with national standards.

“I am honored to present this bipartisan legislation in collaboration with my esteemed colleague Rep. Lipps," said Rep. Jarrells. "Our joint effort aims to underscore the significance of equal employment opportunities and accessibility for every workforce member. The inherent potential within each individual should be recognized and celebrated.”

This legislation comes after a recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio awarded back pay and damages to three individuals with disabilities who received subminimum wages. This ruling, which supports a 2016 U.S. Department of Labor determination, clarifies that disabilities alone should not justify lower wages. This is a landmark decision in affirming the rights of individuals with disabilities to minimum wage compensation.