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Relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation
programs participating in the purchasing from people with
No fiscal impact to the state is anticipated.
There is currently a program authorized by the state called the Purchasing from People with Disabilities Program which operates under the oversight of the Texas Workforce Commission. Under this program, employers may hire employees with disabilities to manufacture goods or provide services which may be purchased by state agencies at prices determined by TWC to be at fair market value. Current statute does not require employees of organizations participating in this program to be paid federal minimum wage.
HB 885 would require that community rehabilitation programs, to the maximum extent possible, pay workers with disabilities the federal minimum wage, and require the program to ensure they employ the same employees after the wage increase.
If the program is unable to employ the same employees after the wage increase, they must work with TWC and any other governmental entity to seek and obtain and employment services for those former employees to find other employment wage. The bill provides an exemption to this requirement in the event that the participating organization is unable to retain the employee at the federal minimum wage and TWC determines based on the worker's particular circumstances that the worker would be unable to obtain work with a different employer at a higher wage than the participating organization is able to pay. This exemption is designed to ensure that no employee of a participating organization loses employment altogether based on the employer's inability to increase pay to meet the federal minimum wage.