News Release

Jacksonville, Florida, Employer to Pay Back Wages to Workers With Disabilities After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation

JACKSONVILLE, FL After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Pine Castle Inc. – a Jacksonville, Florida, facility for adults with intellectual and development disabilities – will pay $14,487 in back wages to 48 employees for failing to meet the requirements of Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD found that the employer violated requirements of Section 511 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act when it failed to provide workers with disabilities with services required for it to pay sub-minimum wages. Section 511 requires that employers that pay sub-minimum wages under the FLSA’s Section 14(c) must provide services such as career counseling, information and referral services from the state vocational rehabilitation agency and information about local opportunities for self-advocacy, self-determination and peer-mentoring training. Since Pine Castle failed to ensure its workers received required services, WHD determined the employer was obligated to pay affected workers the full federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that all workers receive the hard-earned wages legally due to them and to protecting workers with disabilities from workplace exploitation,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús, in Orlando, Florida. “Section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act and FLSA Section 14(c) require some very specific actions by employers who participate in these programs. We encourage all employers to contact their local Wage and Hour Division office where a trained professional can answer their questions, and help them avoid violations.”

Section 14(c) of the FLSA offers more job opportunities for workers with disabilities when their disability affects their productive capacity for the work being performed. After applying for and receiving a certificate from WHD, the employer may determine their employees’ productivity and calculate the appropriate commensurate wage as a percentage of the rate for experienced employees performing similar jobs in the area.

For more information about the FLSA, Section 14(c) and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
September 29, 2020
Release Number
20-1696-ATL
Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
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