Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Section 64a02: Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Section 14(c)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which took effect July 26, 1992, prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. The Solicitor's Office has reviewed the ADA and its legislative history and has concluded that the ADA does not nullify the provisions of section 14(c). The ADA affords protection to individuals who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job. An employer is not required to lower quality or production standards to make an accommodation.
- In order to determine the commensurate wage of a worker with a disability for purposes of section 14(c), the employer must, among other things, determine the productivity of a worker who does not have a disability for the work to be performed by conducting appropriate work measurements or time studies. The production standard, along with the prevailing wage, becomes the basis for paying commensurate wage rates. Thus the standard for compensation, if not the amount of compensation itself, is the same for the worker who has a disability as for the worker who does not have a disability.
- The Solicitor's Office (SOL) has advised us that the existence of a certificate under section 14(c) would not protect an employer from charges pursuant to the ADA. Section 14(c) requires commensurate wage rates but does not address the issues of discrimination or reasonable accommodation. Thus, it would be possible for an employer to be in compliance with the provisions of section 14(c) but be in violation of certain provisions of the ADA. Questions regarding possible action under the ADA should be addressed to the appropriate office of the EEOC.