Career Counseling, Information, and Referral

Career Counseling and Information and Referral Services

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) gained the responsibility to provide career counseling and information and referral (CC&IR) services to all individuals employed at subminimum wage who are known to DOR, effective July 22, 2016. Individuals may become known to DOR through the vocational rehabilitation process, self-referral, or referral from other entities.

Services During Subminimum Wage Employment

Employers are restricted from continuing to employ any individual in a subminimum wage setting, regardless of age, unless the individual is:

  1. Provided CC&IR by DOR to facilitate independent decision making and informed choice.

  2. Informed by the employer of self-advocacy, self-determination, and peer mentoring training opportunities available in the individual's geographic area. The training opportunities cannot be provided by an entity that holds a special wage certificate described in section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Employers are required to provide resource information only to their employees regarding where the employee can participate in self-advocacy, self-determination and peer-mentoring training. Employers should not provide the training.

Employers with less than 15 employees may refer their employees working in subminimum wage settings to DOR for self-advocacy, self-determination, and peer mentoring training opportunities available in the individual's geographic area.

Any individual hired into subminimum wage employment after July 22, 2016, must receive CC&IR services once every six months the first year of employment and annually thereafter. All individuals employed at subminimum wage prior to July 22, 2016, require CC&IR services once by July 22, 2017, and annually thereafter. Employers should review any documents provided by the employee indicating that such counseling has been provided. The employer is required to verify the employee's completion of these services, and review and obtain any relevant documentation from the employee.


Subminimum Wage Limitations for Youth

Under the WIOA amendments, employers are prohibited from compensating any individual with a disability who is 24 years of age or younger at subminimum wage, unless the individual has received documentation from DOR upon completion of the following activities:

  1. Pre-employment transition services or transition services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

  2. Applied for vocational rehabilitation services, and the individual was determined:

    1. Ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

    2. Eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, has an approved Individualized Plan for Employment, and the individual was unable to achieve an employment outcome in competitive integrated employment.

  3. Career counseling and information and referral services to federal and state programs to help the individual discover, experience, and attain competitive integrated employment, and the counseling and information was not for employment at subminimum wage.

The employer must receive all documentation before the individual, 24 years of age or younger, may begin employment at subminimum wage. Individuals 24 years of age or younger employed at subminimum wage after July 22, 2016, are required to provide such documentation.

More information about Limitations on Subminimum Wage for Youth


Employer Requests for CC&IR Services

Request CC&IR Services - 14(c) Certificate Holder Employers

  • As a 14(c) employer, when do I need to submit a new request for CC&IR Services for employees receiving subminimum wage?

    • As soon as possible upon hiring an employee receiving less than minimum wage

    • After the employee's first year on the job, annually as they continue working in subminimum wage employment

The above Employer Request for CC&IR Services is not to be used to request services for individuals 24 years of age or younger who desire subminimum wage employment. In order for DOR to provide the required information as specified in the Subminimum Wage Restrictions for Youth section of the webpage, individuals 24 years of age or younger will need to apply for DOR services at their local DOR office.



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Who can I contact for more information?

Competitive integrated employment:

Employment support services:

Work experience and training:

Education and training:

Job training:

Requirements for 14(c) certificate holders:

Self-advocacy and self-determination