Sub-Minimum Wages

Editor's Note: Very low wages are sometimes allowed for individuals with disabilities, students and certain other workers.

Michael CardmanOverview: Under minimum wage laws, employers may sometimes pay certain workers - including individuals whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by a physical or mental disability, full-time students, apprentices, messengers and student-learners - wages even lower than the minimum wage, known as subminimum wages.

The federal government and most state governments require employers to obtain special certification before hiring workers at subminimum wages.

The main goal of subminimum wages is to provide employment opportunities to workers who might not otherwise find work.

Trends: The National Council on Disability, a small but influential advisory agency that is credited with playing a major role in the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, has recommended that subminimum wages for individuals with disabilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act be phased out over a six-year period.

If the federal government follows this recommendation, many if not all states can be expected to follow in its footsteps.

Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor

Latest items in Sub-Minimum Wages

  • Minimum Wage: Washington

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: West Virginia

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of West Virginia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: Rhode Island

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Rhode Island employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: South Dakota

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of South Dakota employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: Vermont

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Vermont employment law requirements HR must follow in respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: Alaska

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Alaska employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: Arkansas

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Arkansas employment law requirements HR must follow in respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: Colorado

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Colorado employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: Connecticut

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Connecticut employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: Hawaii

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Hawaii employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

About this topic

HR guidance on paying subminimum wages to full-time students, apprentices, messengers, student-learners and individuals whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by a physical or mental disability.

Subminimum Wages: Key Items