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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - FLSA Section 14(c) Advisor

Determining the Standard Under FLSA Section 14(c)

Under Section 14(c), a special minimum wage (SMW) is always less than the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage, or where applicable, the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act prevailing wage. A SMW is a commensurate wage-one based on the individual productivity of the worker with a disability, no matter how limited, compared to the productivity of experienced workers who do not have disabilities performing the same job in the same vicinity. In order to conduct this comparison and compute an SMW, the employer must first develop a "standard" for each job that will be held by a worker with disabilities by conducting work measurements of workers who do not have disabilities performing those same jobs.

The employer must use an accepted method of industrial work measurement to determine the standard. Such methods may include stopwatch time studies, predetermined time systems or standard data or other recognized measurement methods. It is imperative that the work measurement method include all aspects of the job that will be performed by the workers with disabilities and utilize both the quality and quantity standards developed for the job.

The commensurate rate is then determined by comparing the performance of the worker with a disability against the “standard.” In simple terms, if the worker with a disability is 60 percent as productive when performing a particular job as is the experienced worker who does not have a disability performing the identical job, the commensurate wage would be 60 percent of the prevailing wage.

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