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DOL/WHD RIN: 1235-AA14 Publication ID: Spring 2017 
Title: Employment of Workers With Disabilities Under Special Certificates  

Section 14(c) of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. 214(c), provides that the Secretary of Labor may, to the extent necessary to prevent the curtailment of opportunities for employment, issue certificates to permit the payment of subminimum wages to individuals with disabilities whose earring or productive capacities are affected by their disability. The Department is proposing to revise the regulations implementing section 14(c) to reflect changes in employment laws affecting workers with disabilities enacted since the Department's last update to the regulations.

Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Long-Term Actions 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 525   
Legal Authority: 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.    29 U.S.C. 214    Pub. L. 113-128   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

For some time, WHD has been conducting a comprehensive review of the section 14(c) program. This review was designed to develop strategies to better protect workers in the program, to promote WHD’s vision of supporting competitive and integrated employment of individuals with disabilities, and to assist with efforts to make section 14(c) employment an option of last resort for workers where feasible. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) created a new section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act, which imposes certain new conditions on the payment of subminimum wages by section 14(c) certificate holders. The current section 14(c) regulations are in need of improvement.  The regulations have not been updated since 1989 and lack comprehensive, detailed information regarding the issuance, renewal, and revocation of 14(c) certificates as well as WHD’s enforcement of the program. The regulations will be updated as the Department considers the new requirements of WIOA, and suggestions from workers with disabilities and their advocates.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

These regulations are authorized by section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 214.


Alternatives will be developed in considering proposed revisions to the current regulations. The public will be invited to provide comments on the proposed revisions and possible alternatives.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The Department will prepare estimates of the anticipated costs and benefits associated with the proposed rule.


This action does not affect public health, safety, or the environment.

Action Date FR Cite
Next Action Undetermined  To Be Determined 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Melissa Smith
Director, Regulations, Legislation and Interpretations
Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room S-3502,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 693-0406
Fax:202 693-1387