Special Minimum Wages for Workers with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions

Special Minimum Wages for Workers with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Benjamin Collins. December 16, 2016

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended, sets the minimum wage for covered workers at $7.25 per hour. Section 14(c) of the FLSA permits certified employers to pay a worker with a disability that impairs the worker’s productive capacity a special minimum wage (SMW). The SMW may be below the federal minimum wage but must be commensurate with the worker’s productivity and the job’s prevailing wage.
This short report answers common questions related to SMWs. It covers
• federal legislation that authorizes SMWs;
• how individuals qualify for SMWs;
• how employers are certified to pay SMWs and how wage levels are set;
• data on employers that pay SMWs; and
• services that must be provided in conjunction with the payment of SMWs

[PDF format, 8 pages, 588.09 KB].

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