Rehabilitation Facility / Sheltered Workshop Licenses
- Wisconsin law allows the Department of Workforce Development to license certain rehabilitation facilities and sheltered workshops to pay less than the regular minimum wage to persons with disabilities.
- Licenses are issued for up to two years. New licenses will be issued for the period from the date of issuance through March 31, 2018.
- Wisconsin licensees must also obtain a Certificate from the US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, in order to operate a facility that pays less than the federal minimum wage. See the Wage and Hour Division's website.
A Sheltered Workshop is a rehabilitation facility which is a charitable organization or non-profit institution that carries out a recognized program of rehabilitation for workers with disabilities. The program provides remunerative employment or other occupational rehabilitation activities of an educational or therapeutic nature.
A Work Activity Center is a rehabilitation facility, a workshop, or a physically separated department of a workshop having an identifiable program designed exclusively to provide therapeutic activities for workers with disabilities whose impairments severely weaken productive capacity.
New WIOA Requirements
Effective July 22, 2016, Section 511 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) imposes new limitations on all employers (including Community Rehabilitation Facilities, Sheltered Workshops, and other disability service providers who also act as employers of people with disabilities) who hold federal certificates that allows them to pay subminimum wages to individuals with disabilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (29 U.S.C. 214(c)). These certificates are also commonly called 14(c) certificates. Specifically, no entity, including a contractor or subcontractor of the entity which holds a 14(c) certificate, may compensate an individual with a disability who is age 24 or younger at a wage that is less than the Federal minimum wage unless certain conditions are met.
The US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has posted several guidance documents on their Workers with Disabilities website. The guidance documents include a Field Assistance Bulletin 2016-2, a new Fact Sheet 39H, a Letter to Certificate Holders, and certain Key News items.
Note: The Equal Rights Division does NOT enforce these requirements. They are enforced by the US Department of Labor.
Current Valid Licenses
The rates paid must reflect the productivity of the worker compared to the productivity of a worker not disabled for similar work and to the wages paid to experienced workers performing the same or similar work in the vicinity.
Online Licensing Application
Facilities wishing to be licensed must complete our new online Application.
- If you do not already have a DWD Logon ID, create one at the Self Registration Screen.
- To submit a license request, go to the Application for Wisconsin Rehabilitation Facility / Sheltered Workshop License.
Employers with a special minimum wage license issued by DWD are required to post this poster.
- Individual Special Minimum Wage Licenses
- Services for Subminimum Wage Workers Department of Vocational Rehabilitation site with resources for worker and information about new services available
- Subminimum Wage Employment for Workers with Disabilities US Department of Labor site with resources for workers with disabilities, family members, employers, and advocates