Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers over 50 million workers in the United States, and includes special provisions governing the employment of people with physical and mental disabilities in sheltered workshops and similar settings.

Section 14(c) of the FLSA authorizes the Secretary of Labor to issue special minimum wage certificates for workers with disabilities. These workers' wages must be "commensurate with those paid to non-handicapped workers, employed in the vicinity…for essentially the same type, quality, and quantity of work." Employers have to provide assurances that:

  • The hourly wages of each worker with a disability will be reviewed at least semi-annually, and
  • Such wages will be adjusted at least annually

If a worker petitions for a wage review, an Administrative Law Judge is assigned to hold a hearing and the burden is on the employer to prove the wage rate is "necessary to prevent the curtailment of opportunities for employment."


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