Chapter 1: “Excellent worker.” The history of sheltered workshops and the sub-minimum wage.




A full playlist of the Bottom Dollars’ chapters is available for free on youtube or  download and stream the full film on Vimeo.

We want everyone to be able to access this film, so if you are unable to play a digital copy or have a financial barrier to buying or renting the film, please email us.


About the film

When the Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938, it included a revolutionary protection: a minimum wage. But Section 14(c) of the Act included an exemption allowing some workers, people with disabilities, to be paid less than minimum wage.

This provision was originally designed to persuade employers to hire people with disabilities and open up opportunities. Instead, people with disabilities were often employed in “sheltered workshops,” segregated workplaces away from their communities, earning sub-minimum wage. Three quarter of a century later, 14(c) remains in effect.

In 2016, nearly 250,000 people are legally paid less than the minimum wage, on average, less than $2 an hour.  “Bottom Dollars” is an hour-long documentary that exposes the exploitation of people with disabilities through personal stories and expert interviews. It also presents clear employment alternatives with competitive wages and community inclusion.

Do we want all people to have a shot at a job for fair pay in our own communities, or do we want some people to be separated, exploited and robbed of their chance to seize the American dream for ourselves?

Host a screening!

Screenings are a great way to bring people together and spark discussions on various topics and issues that impact the lives and inclusion of people with disabilities. Screenings are great for university and college curriculum, community meetings and conferences.

We need to end sub-minimum wage for workers with disabilities. Get involved, host a screening and start a movement in your community. Use the form below to sign-up. If you have any issues accessing the form, please email us.


Screening Request

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