Court ruling affirms decision awarding back pay and liquidated damages to individuals who were unlawfully paid less than minimum wage.

In a ruling handed down by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Seneca Re-Ad Industries, Inc. v. Secretary of the Department of Labor et al., 3:20-cv-02325-JJH), the Court upheld a 2016 decision from the United States Department of Labor that found three individuals employed by Seneca Re-Ad Industries, Inc. are not disabled for the work they perform and cannot be paid less than minimum wage. The Court affirmed the Department’s award of back pay and liquidated damages to Pamela Steward, Ralph “Joe” Magers, and Mark Felton. Ms. Steward, Mr. Magers, and Mr. Felton were represented by Brown, Goldstein & Levy attorneys Kevin Docherty, Anthony May, and Lauren Kelleher, alongside co-counsel from Disability Rights Ohio.

In November 2015, with the support of the National Federation of the Blind, Ms. Steward, Mr. Magers, and Mr. Felton filed a petition with the Department of Labor challenging their receipt of subminimum wages. In a precedent-setting decision, the Department of Labor explained that employers cannot rely on a provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act that allows individuals with disabilities to be paid less than the minimum wage without clear evidence that an individual’s disability impacts his or her productivity.

Read the press release here.

Read the decision here.


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Court upholds disabled workers case | Review Times (January 10, 2024)