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August 28, 2015

St. Louis Nonprofits That Employ Disabled Protest Wage Hike

St. Louis nonprofits that train and employ developmentally disabled workers are raising concerns about an amendment to a proposed city minimum-wage increase that would extend the mandatory raise to their organizations, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The city's four "sheltered workshops" say the measure, on which aldermen are set to vote Friday, would force them to cut loose workers who do not have recourse to the traditional labor market.

The debate echoes that in Los Angeles, where officials recently approved a minimum wage increase but subsequently delayed its application to job-training groups that ready the homeless, ex-convicts, and other marginalized people for steady work.

The St. Louis measure would incrementally raise the pay floor in the city from $7.25 to $11 an hour over the next three years. Alderwoman Megan Green, a co-sponsor of the bill, said learning-disabled workers were added to the legislation at the behest of disability-rights advocates.