Section 14c of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

What is Section 14c of the FLSA?

Section 14c allows eligible employers to pay persons with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, a subminimum wage under special certificates provided by the Department of Labor. This often leads to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities working in segregated environments, such as sheltered workshops. 

History of the FLSA

Resources on the FLSA


The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

What is the Rehab Act?

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act) is another law that prohibits disability discrimination. This law is divided into several sections as follows:

  • Section 501 prohibits federal agencies from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment. It also requires these agencies to take affirmative action in hiring, placing and advancing of individuals with disabilities.
  • Section 503 prohibits employment discrimination based on disability and requires affirmative action in the hiring, placement and advancement of people with disabilities by federal contractors or subcontractors.
  • Section 504 prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment and in their programs and activities.
  • Section 508 applies to Federal Government agencies and the technology providers that sell to them. This section of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all information and communications technology (ICT) the Federal Government develops, procures, maintains and uses be accessible to people with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

What is the ADA?

Title I of the ADA protects the rights of both employees and job seekers. Title I applies to private-sector employers who employ 15 or more individuals, state and local governments, and employment agencies and labor organizations. The law prohibits these employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in all aspects of employment. One of the key non-discrimination aspects of Title I is the requirement to provide reasonable accommodations for employees and job seekers with disabilities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has primary enforcement responsibility under Title I of the ADA.


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

What is the WIOA?

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity ACT (WIOA) (P.L 113-128) amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and encourages post-secondary success for youth and adults with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities and transition-aged youth protected under Section 504 of this act or for those receiving special education supports/services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Specifically, WIOA emphasizes workforce development activities to increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment that best align with the strengths, preferences, interests, and needs of youth and adults with disabilities. This law mandates state allotments—15% of each state’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) finances—to fund pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETs) to transition-aged youth with disabilities. Pre-ET services offer proactive trainings to transition-aged youth prior to age 16 (and before this population accesses VR services) in order to foster positive employment outcomes. Further, employment and training programs provided by workforce centers must be coordinated and interconnected so that job seekers strengthen skills and credentials enough to meet the needs of employers. The law also helps connect employers with skilled workers who benefit from education, skills training and career services from the workforce development system. WIOA helps improve the quality and accessibility of services that job seekers and employers receive at their local American Job Centers (AJCs)./p>

History of WIOA Legislation


Perkin's V Act

What is Perkin's V?

The Perkin's V Act serves as the primary federal funding source for career and technical (CTE) programs across the country. Unlike previous reauthorizations, the current version of the law, Perkin's V, mentions students with disabilities and how to prepare them for employment.

History of Perkin's Legislation


Other Topics for the 117th Congress

Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act

The Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (H.R.2737) will assist businesses in adapting their program models to support the transition of individuals with disabilities from segregated work environments to competitive, integrated employment. This law aims phase out use of 14(c) certificates, originally issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Raise the Wage Act of 2021

The Raise the Wage Act (H.R.603, S.53) would increase the minimum wage for ALL people gradually increasing from $7.25 to $15.00 by 2025, including people with disabilities. If enacted, it would phase out Section 14c of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 over four years.