Section 511 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Subminimum Wage

On July 27, 2016, the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, reached out to Section 14(c) Certificate Holders regarding a new requirement under Section 511 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) is the Designated State unit that “is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities and that is responsible for the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program of the State.” 

In the letter from Wage and Hour Division, employers (Certificate Holders) were encouraged to contact GVRA and make appropriate referrals.  Under WIOA, before a Certificate Holder can pay a youth 24 years old and younger subminimum wage, the youth must provide documentation from GVRA that three WIOA-required steps were completed.  The steps include the provision of transition services and/or pre-employment transition services, determination of ineligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation services, or a determination of eligibility, an Individual Plan for Employment and working toward an employment outcome, and finally, provision of career counseling.   Also under WIOA, before a Certificate Holder can pay any individual with a disability subminimum wage, the individual must provide documentation from GVRA that he or she received career counseling and information and referral every six months for the first year of employment and annually thereafter. 

GVRA has developed the procedure for receiving the referrals from youth going to work for subminimum wage and for individuals currently paid subminimum wage.  In order for GVRA to provide Career Counseling and Information and Referral Services to your employees earning subminimum wages, you must complete a Request.  Upon completion of this Request Form (click here for the form), you will be contacted by GVRA to arrange a date and time for our staff to visit. 

Documentation that employees received Career Counseling and Information and Referral Services must be on file by July 22, 2017. 

If you have further questions, you are encouraged to contact the WHD Employment of Workers with Disabilities at their website here.