What is the subminimum wage for learners and what must I do to comply with the terms of my certificate?
(a) All learner certificates shall specify: (1) The subminimum wage rate of not less than 95 percent of the applicable minimum wage required by section 6(a) of the FLSA;
(2) The number or proportion of learners authorized to be employed on any one day;
(3) The occupations in which learners may be employed;
(4) The authorized learning period of not more than 240 hours, except in extraordinary situations as discussed in Sec. 520.403; and (5) The effective and expiration dates of the certificate.
(b) Learners properly hired prior to the date on which a learner certificate expires may be continued in employment at subminimum wage rates for the duration of their authorized learning period under the terms of the certificate, even though the certificate may expire before the learning period is completed.
(c) The employer shall post a copy of the learner certificate during its effective period and thereafter until all authorized learners have completed their learning period(s). The certificate shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each department of the plant where learners are to be employed.
(d) No learners shall be hired under a learner certificate if, at the time the employment begins, experienced workers capable of equaling the performance of a worker of minimum acceptable skill are available for employment. Before hiring learners during the effective period of the certificate, the employer shall place an order for experienced workers with the local State or Territorial Public Employment Service Office (except in possessions where there is no such office) or have such an active order on file. Written evidence that an order has been placed or is on active file shall be maintained in the employer's records.
(e) No learner shall be hired under a learner certificate while abnormal labor conditions such as a strike, lock-out, or other similar condition exist in the plant or establishment.
(f) For each individual learner, the number of hours of previous employment and hours of vocational or similar facility(ies) training must be deducted from the authorized learning period if within the past three years the learner has been employed or received vocational training in a given occupation and industry.
(g) If experienced workers are paid on a piece rate basis, learners shall be paid at least the same piece rates as experienced workers employed on similar work in the plant and shall receive earnings based on such piece rates whenever such earnings exceed the subminimum wage rates permitted in the certificate.