Clark Kauffman of the Des Moines Register reports that more than 300 mentally retarded wards of the state are being paid less than the minimum wage for work performed at two state-run homes for the disabled. Seventy-four of the workers are paid an average hourly wage of 60 cents or less, and some of the labor is performed for the benefit of various for-profit companies. One worker averages 11 cents an hour working for a company owned by one of the world's richest private equity firms, the Carlyle Group. The wages are legal under a 71-year-old federal law intended to promote job opportunities for the disabled.
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