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Many are fighting to increase the minimum wage. But what about the subminimum wage?

Studies have shown that the minimum wage is not enough money for most people to successfully pay all their bills and rent and take care of their families. While the fight continues for workers to receive a livable wage, there is another wage-gap loophole talked about less frequently: the subminimum wage.

Subminimum wages are less than the minimum wage and given to people based on certain criteria. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, these can include student learners, people in certain service industries, and people with disabilities. Yes, you read that right: Employers are legally allowed to pay people with disabilities less money.

This week’s Divided States of Women digs into this labor practice. We interview an advocate for workers with disabilities and a disabled woman who started her own business.