Capitol Correspondence - 10.24.23

DOL Launches Engagement Sessions on 14(c) Sub-Minimum Wage Program

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In September, Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su announced a comprehensive review of the Section 14(c) program. This long-standing program authorizes employers, upon receiving a certificate from the Wage and Hour Division, to pay subminimum wages to workers whose disabilities impact their productivity for the specific work performed.

The program, which was authorized by a law dating back to the 1930s, enables businesses to obtain 14(c) certificates, permitting them to pay workers with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The 14(c) program has faced calls for reform from disability advocates, the Government Accountability Office, the National Council on Disability, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and the Labor Department’s Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment.

During the first public engagement session, the Department of Labor (DOL) welcomes input on various areas of focus for reviewing the 14(c) program. These include experiences with options for competitive integrated employment (CIE), lessons from states that have expanded CIE and/or prohibited subminimum wages, impacts of potentially ceasing to issue 14(c) certificates in the future, and any related issues.

The DOL is dedicated to hearing directly from workers with disabilities and encourages worker advocates to include these examples in their remarks. This engagement session will be virtual, and members of the public wishing to participate must register in advance of the meeting by October 25. Individuals who wish to speak during the meeting should indicate their interest in the meeting registration form, with a two-minute speaking time limit to accommodate as many participants as possible.

For inquiries or further information, please email [email protected].