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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Participate in an Online Dialogue to Share Your Thoughts on Subminimum Wage!

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is hosting a National Online Dialogue about Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The dialogue is intended to gather input on Section 14(c) from people across the country in the form of “ideas, individual stories, and personal experiences illustrating the impact of Section 14(c) on the employment of people with disabilities.”

The Independent Living community has long opposed the use of Section 14(c) certificates to pay disabled people subminimum wages. Employers use 14(c) certificates to pay disabled employees lower than the minimum wage – sometimes just pennies per hour. Paying people lower wages on the basis on their disability is discrimination, and this is one of the factors that has contributed to disproportionate rates of poverty among disabled people. This online dialogue provides us with an opportunity to share stories and information about our position, experiences, and ideas on this discriminatory and harmful practice. It is critical that our input be heard!

There are three main topics within the dialogue:

  • Use of Section 14(c) and observed trends
  • Experiences transitioning from the use of Section 14(c) certificates
  • Vision for the future of work and workplaces; the landscape over the next five to ten years

We strongly encourage everyone to submit comments and stories, and we encourage you to participate in any and all of the topics you can contribute to!

To participate, start by going to the main Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue webpage at You will need to register, and then you can log into the dialogue. There is more information about how to get started and participate in the dialogue on the “Getting Started” page. All input is due by Friday, June 14, 2019.

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  1. Sarah Carmany says

    I think that the 14c certificates should be eliminated. People with Disabilities need to be able to work fo better pay not pennies. Working for pennies persons with Disabilities can’t live the life they want. For instance persons with Disabilities can’t live in a house or afford food or other necessaties of life just like the non disabeled community. People with Disabilities should be able to get a job within the community and work at a descent wages just like everyone else. I think the sheltered workshops also need to be eliminated also. The sheltered workshops are a segragated place for the disabeled to work due to the fact that disabled people are only working with the disabeled only and not the non disabeled. Working with the disabeled only doesn’t help people with Disabilities expand their friendship circle either. People with Disabilities want to also interact with the non disabeled as well as the disabled which they so desire. So Good bless this work. This is long over due.