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Determining the Prevailing Wage Under FLSA Section 14(c)

The prevailing wage for a particular job performed by a worker with a disability who receives a special minimum wage (SMW) is the wage paid experienced workers who do not have disabilities performing essentially the same type of work in the same vicinity.

An employer paying an SMW must be able to demonstrate that the prevailing wage rate used to determine a commensurate wage was objectively determined. Normally, prevailing wage rates are based on the results of annual surveys conducted by the employer.

The prevailing wage is not an entry-level wage or a training wage, but the wage rate paid experienced employees after completion of any training or probationary periods. An experienced worker is one who has learned the basic elements or requirements of the work to be performed, ordinarily by completion of a probationary or training period. Typically, such a worker will have received at least one pay raise after successful completion of the probationary or training period.

The prevailing wage may not be lower than the applicable statutory minimum wage as established by FLSA Section 6(a)(1) or, where applicable, a higher state minimum wage.

To learn more about determining prevailing wages, please select one of the following:

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