I believe that if a person has the ability to go to work, then he should go to work. ~Tony Sampson

Are your rights on the job being violated?

by TONY SAMPSON

Hello readers, last time I wrote, we discussed the human rights of people who live in residential programs.

My talked article about how some people who live in residential programs don’t get rights met, and more importantly, how they don’t get respect.

Tony Sampson

Tony Sampson is a graduate of Leaders in Disability Policy and a former member of the Maryland Disabilities Council. He works at Home Depot.

Now I will talk about people who are on the job in the vocational programs.

1. There are some people who work in enclaves, or sheltered workshops, performing contract work and getting paid by the piece less than pennies on the dollar. They work in workshops, on lawn maintenance crews, on cleaning crews, and even in hotels via contract. They do it for sub minimum wages, making as little as $4.15 an hour. Sometimes people are asked to do time trials when their work fluctuates. That means their wage could go high or low, depending on how well they do on the time trials.

2. And for people who work in the community, the agency gets their paychecks. The worker gets an allowance, provided they collect receipts. The allowance can be as low as $50 every two weeks – that’s $25 a week, $3.50 a day. In a six-hour day, allowance turns into $0.53 cents an hour (for 7 days).

3. People have the right to report to a manager when things go wrong. For example, when something happens like a hazardous material is spilled on the floor, or a urinal is clogged. You can report it even if it means bypassing your job coach, if the job coach is not around.

4. Clients in some agencies can’t go out to lunch at a nearby restaurant because of the fact that they are liabilities. Liabilities have rights, too!

5. Some agencies won’t let clients go to work during days of in-climate weather. For example, when it’s snowing, they’re not allowed to go to work, due to policy. I believe that if a person has the ability to go to work, then he should be go to work.

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