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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

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FOH Field Operations Handbook
Chapter 64 Employment of Workers with Disabilities at Special Minimum Wages under Section 14(c)
Section 64f Initial Investigative Activities

Section 64f01: Beginning the Investigation

  • For investigations involving work centers or patient workers, the INV shall send an appointment letter to the employer prior to visiting the establishment to ensure the presence of the executive director or his or her representative during the investigation. Unannounced visits prior to the initiation of an investigation should generally occur only in unusual, emergency-type situations such as after receiving allegations of minors being placed at risk because their employment violates the child labor provisions.
  • The appointment letter shall specify the documents and records the INV will need for review and/or copying and shall advise the employer that the INV will be requesting a tour of the facility.
  • Samples of section 14(c) appointment letters are included at the end of this FOH chapter. The type of letter the INV sends will depend on such factors as whether the employer has been investigated before, the size of the establishment, etc. Information the INV will need to review, and in some cases copy for the investigation file, include:
    1. Names and addresses of the President and Board of Directors/Corporate Officials.
    2. Copies of the financial statements for past three years. These documents are useful when determining an establishment's primary revenue source for the purpose of establishing enterprise coverage under section 3(s)(1)(B). This information could also support a facility's request for an installment payment plan should back wages be due. If the documents are bulky, the INV may wish to retain only the income and expense statements in cases that are closed/settled administratively.
    3. Payroll and time records, for both the staff and clients, for the standard investigative period. This will include the most recently completed payroll for both staff and clients, to be used as a profile workweek.
    4. A list of all staff members showing the name, hourly rate or salary, and a descriptive job title.
    5. Dates of birth of all employees under 19 years of age who worked during the last 24 months.
    6. All Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (I-9s) for current employees hired after November 1, 1986. INVs will request this information only in targeted (noncomplaint) compliance actions.
    7. The employer's Federal Identification Number (EIN).
    8. Contract information for the standard investigative period (to help establish individual coverage and to assist in evaluating the accuracy of commensurate wages):
      • For production contracts, obtain:
        1. Name and address of customer.
        2. Geographic source of the raw materials or component parts.
        3. Final geographic destinations of goods produced.
      • For SCA contracts, obtain:
        1. Name and address of contractor, including name of prime contractor if work is being performed by a subcontractor.
        2. Contracting agency name and address.
        3. Contracting officer name and phone number.
        4. Brief description of work.
        5. Number of workers employed on the contract.
        6. Contract award date and period of contract performance.
        7. Dollar amount of contract.
        8. Copy of any applicable SCA wage determinations.
    9. Documents substantiating the type and severity of the workers' disabilities. Acceptable documents would include a physical examination by an MD or DO (doctor of osteopathy) or the results of psychological testing by a Master's level psychologist and staff notes on how the disability affects productivity.
      • The documentation should be sufficiently current to accurately reflect the nature and status of the disability. In some cases, older documentation may not reflect changes in the severity of the disability (increases or decreases) in those circumstances where this can change.
      • INVs, following established procedures, should consult the Regional Section 14 Team Leader before challenging the documentation solely on the basis of the age of the documentation.
    10. Productivity records and time studies documenting standards used to establish piece rates and hourly commensurate wage rates.
    11. Evaluations and documentation used to support rates paid to hourly paid workers with disabilities.
    12. Prevailing wage survey data (see Regulations 29 CFR Part 525.10(g) for a review of what survey data should include).
    13. For patient worker investigations, the INV must also ask whether the institution is for-profit or not-for-profit, public or private, the primary disability group served, the total number of patients in the institution at the time of the investigation and the number of patients who are also employees of the institution.
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