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

Employee’s Right to Petition for a Review of the Special Minimum Wages (SMWs) Being Paid Under Section 14(c)

All employees subject to the provisions of the FLSA have a right to file a private suit for back pay due under the FLSA and an equal amount of liquidated damages, plus attorney’s fees and court costs.

In addition, any employee paid a special minimum wage (SMW) (or his or her parent or guardian) may petition the Secretary of Labor, under FLSA Section 14(c)(5), to have the SMW reviewed to determine if the wage is justified. The review, if granted, will be conducted by a U.S. Department of Labor administrative law judge. Such petitions are completely independent of any enforcement action that may be undertaken by the Wage and Hour Division.

Although the petition does not have to follow a particular format or form, it must be signed by the individual (or his or her parent or guardian) and should contain the name and address of the individual filing the petition and the name and address of his or her employer. A petition may be filed in person or by mail with:

Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division
U.S. Department of Labor
Room S-3502
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210

The Wage and Hour Division’s role in the petition process is solely to serve as a conduit—the means through which the petition is forwarded to the Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge. The Wage and Hour Division does not serve as a party in this matter. It does not represent or advocate on behalf of either the employee with a disability or his or her employer.

In all matters relating to the propriety of a SMW, the burden of proof rests with the employer. See Regulations 29 CFR Part 525.22 for more information.

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