An Act To Phase Out the Payment of Subminimum Wages to Workers with Disabilities
Sec. 1. 26 MRSA §666, as amended by PL 2011, c. 483, §1, is repealed.
Sec. 2. 26 MRSA §673 is enacted to read:
§ 673. Special wage certificates for individuals with disabilities
An individual who has received an adverse application decision by the director may appeal to the commissioner from that determination by filing a written notice with the commissioner stating the specific grounds of that individual's objection within 10 days' notice of that determination. The commissioner shall hold a hearing on the appeal, pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 4, within 20 days from the receipt of the notice of appeal. The commissioner has the authority to affirm, reverse or amend the determination of the director. The commissioner shall render a decision within 10 days after the conclusion of the hearing.
During the time that the formal review is being conducted, during the time an adverse application decision has been made and appeal has not been exhausted or during the time that a grievance filed pursuant to Title 34-B, section 5604 is pending at any stage, the special certificate or individual work permit remains in effect, as long as the employer has current federal approval for the wage pursuant to 29 United States Code, Section 214.
Currently the State Government and Federal Government may issue special certificates permitting an employer to pay an individual with a physical or mental disability a wage less than the State's minimum wage based on the individual's ability to perform the duties required for that employment in comparison to the ability of a person who does not have a physical or mental disability to perform the same duties. This bill prohibits the issuance of such certificates. Existing special certificates authorizing payment of less than the minimum wage remain in effect until the earlier of their expiration date and November 1, 2018. After the expiration of a previously issued certificate, an individual who was covered by such certificate may apply to the Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards within the Department of Labor for a special work permit authorizing the payment of wages at less than the minimum wage rate by a certain employer.