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Determining Special Minimum Wage (SMW) Rates for Workers with Disabilities Under FLSA Section 14(c)

Employers who have obtained authorizing certificates from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division may pay special minimum wages (SMWs) to workers with disabilities whose productive and earning capacities are impaired for the work being performed.

An SMW is always less than the minimum wage established by the FLSA or, where applicable, the prevailing wage required by a McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) wage determination.

An SMW must also be a commensurate wage, based on the individual productivity of the worker with a disability (no matter how limited) in proportion to the productivity of experienced workers who do not have disabilities that impact their productivity when performing essentially the same work in the same vicinity.

There are several steps that an employer must take in order to determine a special minimum wage rate:

For more generalized information about determining SMWs under FLSA Section 14(c), please read the following:

  • Fact Sheet No. 39B, (Prevailing Wages and Commensurate Wages under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) )
  • Fact Sheet No. 39E, (Determining Hourly Commensurate Wages to be Paid Workers with Disabilities under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) )
  • Fact Sheet No. 39D, (Incorporating Personal Time, Fatigue and Delay (PF&D) Allowances When Determining Piece Rates to be Paid Workers with Disabilities Receiving Special Minimum Wages under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) )

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FLSA Section 14(c) Advisor | Wage and Hour Division