National Disability Rights Network, Department of Labor Enter Agreement that Assists Workers with Disabilities

For Immediate Release             
December 16, 2015                    

Contact:    David Card
202.408.9514 x122

WASHINGTON – The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is pleased to announce an agreement with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor.  

The agreement concerns Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act which permits employers to pay wages less than the federal minimum wage, after receipt of a certificate from the Department of Labor, to individuals whose earning or productive capacity is impacted by a physical or mental disability for the work that is to be performed. NDRN, made up of the nationwide network of Protection and Advocacy agencies, has for years investigated instances of abuse and exploitation of workers with disabilities by employers, including employers who hold 14(c) certificates.

Ensuring proper implementation, oversight, and enforcement of the section 14(c) subminimum wage program is a key component to protecting the rights and preventing the exploitation of workers with disabilities.   

The agreement demonstrates the commitment of the WHD, NDRN and P&A agencies to protect the rights of workers with disabilities. The agreement:

•    Improves the sharing of information between NDRN, the P&As and the Wage and Hour Division on potential violations of subminimum wage certificates by employers;
•    Utilizes the resources, knowledge, and expertise of the P&As on disability issues in each particular jurisdiction, such as locations of suspected wage and hour violations.
•    Supports exchanging information about the laws and regulations of common concern to NDRN, the P&As, and the Wage and Hour Division.

“NDRN is pleased to enter into this agreement with the Wage and Hour Division to achieve our joint goal of protecting the rights of workers with disabilities,” said Curt Decker, NDRN executive director.  "NDRN believes that by utilizing the resources, expertize, and federal mandate of the P&A system to protect and advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities, employers who fail to adhere to the requirements of the section 14(c) certificates will be more readily discovered.”

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.