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“Rounding” Under FLSA Section 14(c)

FLSA Section 14(c) requires that workers with disabilities for the work performed who receive special minimum wages must receive at least the commensurate wage for all hours worked.

An employer who follows the normal business rules of rounding – rounding “up” only when the last decimal point is a five or higher – may actually be underpaying workers with disabilities.

Although the underpayment per unit produced would be very small, the eventual back-wage liability could be quite large considering the number of units that could be produced over an extended period of time by a number of different workers. This can be avoided by carrying computations out to the fifth decimal and then always rounding up to the fourth place.

The Wage and Hour Division will accept as compliance the practice of carrying out computations to the fifth decimal point and then rounding up to the fourth decimal place when computing special minimum wages due workers with disabilities under FLSA Section 14(c). Of course, an employer may round “up” sooner than the fifth decimal point.

An easy check to ensure that you have properly “rounded” when computing piece rates to be paid workers with disabilities under FLSA Section 14(c) is to multiply the piece rate by the standard. If this figure does not equal or exceed the prevailing wage rate, an error in the computation has occurred.

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