pexels katie rainbow ️ 9714250CHICAGO - Monday was a historic day for disability employment in Illinois, and State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is celebrating the new executive order ensuring that employees with disabilities will receive equal pay.

“People with disabilities are treated so poorly in our society, and equal pay is just one of the ways to eliminate the discrimination they face,” Van Pelt said. “This executive order is long overdue, and it is a step toward equity for people of different abilities.”

Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order ends the use of subminimum wages for people with disabilities employed by state vendors.

Coming during Disability Employment Awareness month, the executive order will prevent state agencies from entering contracts with vendors in the State Use Program who pay people with disabilities a subminimum wage. Moreover, state agencies who currently have contracts with vendors who pay people with disabilities a subminimum wage will be required to re-negotiate those contracts to ensure everyone is paid at least the minimum wage.

"We commend Gov. Pritzker for taking this important step to eliminate the use of state contracts that pay Illinoisans with disabilities a sub-minimum wage," said Karen Tamley, President and CEO of Access Living, a leading disability rights and service organization in Chicago. "We hope that organizations who continue to operate outdated and unjust sub-minimum wage employment programs will follow Gov. Pritzker's lead and ensure all disabled people across our state earn a fair wage for their work."

Through the State Use program, Illinois encourages all agencies to purchase products and services produced and provided by people with disabilities. The program is intended to provide long-term employment opportunities for people with disabilities through non-profit agencies who contract with state agencies.

"Equip for Equality applauds Gov. Pritzker for taking this important action," said Barry Taylor, Vice President for Civil Rights and Systemic Litigation at Equip for Equality. "For far too long, many companies have benefitted from state contracts, but paid their workers sub-minimum wage. Today's executive order will correct that injustice, and is a critical step to making the promise of Employment First a reality in Illinois, so that people with disabilities can engage in competitive and integrated employment."

Category: Press Releases

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Chicago, IL 60607 
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