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

School Work Experience Program (SWEP) Placements that Always Create an Employment Relationship

Unless employed in compliance with the Statement of Principles discussed elsewhere in this Advisor, youths with disabilities are subject to the provisions of the FLSA whenever they perform covered work.

When a student with a disability is placed in competitive employment and is supervised by a “job coach” supplied by the school, the worker is jointly employed by the school and by the establishment where he or she is placed. The two are considered joint employers even if the amount of supervision provided by the school’s “job coach” is as little as two hours per pay period and the establishment takes responsibility for paying the student. Because schools are named enterprises under the FLSA, enterprise coverage always applies.

SWEP participants may receive a special minimum wage, one that is less than the applicable Federal minimum wage, if the school or the employer has applied for and received an authorizing certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division. All applicable State and Federal child labor provisions apply to participants in SWEPs.

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