I am a parent of a special needs child and an employer of special needs adults. My son is currently employed by a section C employer and gets a paycheck of roughly $1.25/hour. My wife and i personally do not care about how much he is getting paid because he is working hard and is with his peers. The place he works is clean and very well run and he enjoys working there. About 2 years ago another parent and i wanted to start an employment agency for special needs adults as we have contacts that can help facilitate employment of these wonderful individuals. The big drawback is paying minimum wage. We came up with a model where the employee would pay the agency $1.00-$1.50/hr of their minimum wage salary. This would be the necessary income to keep the breakeven business we were starting afloat. After much research and several thousand dollars wasted on lawyers fees who had no clue about this particular topic we found this was illegal. We struggled with the idea that paying my son $1.25/hr is legal and paying someone $6.00/hr is not.
After researching the law that was put in back in the 50's we saw that it originally allowed to pay 75% of minimum wage and then was lowered to 50% and then 25% and then any floor was taken away by recent administrations. After recently opening up a small business that employs 20 special needs adults part time and paying them minimum wage i can honestly say it is very difficult for businesses to employ them at full wages. We are going into this business venture with a different motive and that is not to make money but to employ these adults. Not all businesses can afford this luxury. With all that being said i believe the true way to approach Section 14C is to REFORM IT NOT REMOVE IT.