e-CFR banner

Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of April 2, 2020

Title 29Subtitle BChapter VSubchapter APart 520 → Subpart D


Title 29: Labor
PART 520—EMPLOYMENT UNDER SPECIAL CERTIFICATE OF MESSENGERS, LEARNERS (INCLUDING STUDENT-LEARNERS), AND APPRENTICES


Subpart D—Messengers, Learners (Excluding Student-Learners), and Apprentices


Contents
§520.400   Who are messengers, learners, and apprentices?
§520.401   Are there any industries, occupations, etc. that do not qualify for a certificate to employ messengers, learners, or apprentices at subminimum wages?
§520.402   How do I obtain authority to employ messengers, learners, or apprentices at subminimum wages?
§520.403   What information is required when applying for authority to pay less than the minimum wage?
§520.404   What must I demonstrate in my application for a messenger, learner, or apprentice certificate to receive a favorable review?
§520.405   Must I notify my employees that I am applying for a certificate to employ messengers and/or learners at subminimum wages?
§520.406   What happens once I have submitted my request for authorization to pay messengers, learners, or apprentices subminimum wages?
§520.407   What is the subminimum wage for messengers and what must I do to comply with the terms of my certificate?
§520.408   What is the subminimum wage for learners and what must I do to comply with the terms of my certificate?
§520.409   When will authority to pay apprentices special minimum wages become effective and what is the special minimum wage rate?
§520.410   How long does a messenger, learner, or apprentice certificate remain in effect?
§520.411   Does a certificate authorizing payment of subminimum wages to messengers and/or learners remain in effect during the renewal process?
§520.412   What records, in addition to those required by Part 516 of this chapter and section 520.203 of this part, must I keep relating to the employment of messengers, learners, or apprentices under special certificate?

§520.400   Who are messengers, learners, and apprentices?

The terms messenger, learner, and apprentice are defined in subpart C of this part.

§520.401   Are there any industries, occupations, etc. that do not qualify for a certificate to employ messengers, learners, or apprentices at subminimum wages?

(a) Certificates to employ messengers at subminimum wages are available to only those establishments engaged in the business of providing messenger service, i.e., the delivery of letters and messages. Requests for such certificates are uniformly denied to applicants whose principal business purpose is not the delivery of messages and letters.

(b) All applications for special certificates authorizing the employment of learners at subminimum wage rates in the manufacture of products in the following industries shall be denied (definitions for all listed activities can be found in subpart C of this part):

(1) In the apparel industry:

(i) Rainwear

(ii) Leather and sheep-lined clothing

(iii) Women's apparel division of the apparel industry for the manufacture of women's misses', and juniors' dresses;

(iv) Robes

(2) Shoe manufacturing industry

(3) Men's and boys' clothing industry.

(c) No certificates will be granted authorizing the employment of learners at subminimum wage rates as homeworkers; in maintenance occupations such as guard, porter, or custodian; in office and clerical occupations in any industry; or in operations of a temporary or sporadic nature.

(d) Authorization to employ apprentices at subminimum wages will only be granted if permitted by the BAT regulations (29 CFR Part 29).

§520.402   How do I obtain authority to employ messengers, learners, or apprentices at subminimum wages?

(a) Employers wishing to employ messengers, learners, or apprentices as defined in subpart C of this part at subminimum wages must apply for authority to do so from the Administrator at the Wage and Hour Division's Regional Office having administrative jurisdiction over the geographic area in which the employment is to take place. To obtain the address of the Regional Office which services your geographic area, please contact your local Wage and Hour Office (under “Department of Labor” in the blue pages of your local telephone book).

(b) In the case of messengers, such application may be filed by an employer or group of employers. Preferential consideration will be given to applications filed by groups or organizations which are deemed to be representative of the interests of a whole industry or branch thereof.

§520.403   What information is required when applying for authority to pay less than the minimum wage?

(a) A separate application must be made for each plant or establishment requesting authorization for employment of messengers and/or learners at subminimum wages, on the official form furnished by the Wage and Hour Division, containing all information required by the form including:

(1) Information concerning efforts made by the applicant to obtain experienced workers in occupation(s) for which learners are requested;

(2) The occupations/industry in which the messenger(s) and/or learner(s) are to be employed;

(3) A statement explaining why employment of messenger(s) and/or learners(s) at subminimum wages is needed to prevent curtailment of employment opportunities;

(4) The number of messengers and/or learners the applicant anticipates employing at subminimum wages under special certificate;

(5) If requesting authorization for the employment of learners at subminimum wages for a learning period greater than 240 hours, information pertinent to the extraordinary circumstances necessitating such a request. While each such request will be considered on its own merit, it is anticipated that such authorizations would be limited to occupations requiring an extended period of specialized training;

(6) The number of messengers and/or learners hired at subminimum wages during the twelve-month period prior to making application;

(7) Total number of nonsupervisory workers in the particular plant or establishment for which a certificate is requested;

(8) The number of experienced workers in the learner occupations and their straight-time average hourly earnings during the last payroll period and the corresponding payroll period in the prior year; and

(9) The type of equipment to be used by learners.

(b) For apprentices, the employer or apprenticeship committee must submit a copy of the registered apprenticeship program.

(c) Any applicant may also submit such additional information as may be pertinent. Applications which fail to provide the information required by the form may be returned to the applicant with a notation of deficiencies and without prejudice against submission of a new or revised application.

(The information collection requirements contained in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) were approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1235-0001)

[62 FR 64959, Dec. 9, 1997, as amended at 82 FR 2227, Jan. 9, 2017]

§520.404   What must I demonstrate in my application for a messenger, learner, or apprentice certificate to receive a favorable review?

(a) The application must demonstrate that a certificate is necessary in order to prevent the curtailment of opportunities for employment.

(b) The issuance of a messenger and/or learner certificate must not tend to create unfair competitive labor cost advantages nor have the effect of impairing or depressing wage rates or working standards of experienced workers performing work of a like or comparable character in the industry.

(c) Abnormal labor conditions such as a strike, lock-out, or other similar condition, must not exist at the plant or establishment for which a messenger and/or learner certificate is requested.

(d) It must be shown that an adequate supply of qualified experienced workers is not available for employment in those occupations for which authorization to pay subminimum wages to learners has been requested; that the experienced workers presently employed in the plant or establishment in occupations in which learners are requested are afforded an opportunity, to the fullest extent possible, for full-time employment upon completion of the learning period; and that learners are available for employment.

(e) Reasonable efforts must have been made to recruit workers paid at least the minimum wage in those occupations in which certificates to employ learners at subminimum wages have been requested. This includes the placement of an order with the local State or Territorial Public Employment Service Office (except in possessions where there is no such office) not more than fifteen days prior to the date of application. Written evidence from such office that the order has been placed shall be submitted by the employer with the application.

(f) The occupation or occupations in which learners are to receive training must involve a sufficient degree of skill to necessitate an appreciable learning period.

(g) An apprenticeship program must conform with or substantially conform with the standards of apprenticeship as defined in subpart C of this part.

(h) There must be no serious outstanding violations involving the employee(s) for whom a certificate is being requested nor any serious outstanding violations of a certificate previously issued, nor any serious violations of the FLSA which provide reasonable grounds to conclude that the terms of a certificate may not be complied with, if issued.

§520.405   Must I notify my employees that I am applying for a certificate to employ messengers and/or learners at subminimum wages?

Upon making application for a messenger and/or learner certificate or for renewal thereof, an employer shall post a copy of the first page of the completed application form in a conspicuous place in each department of the plant or establishment where he/she proposes to employ messengers and/or learners at subminimum wage rates. Such notice shall remain posted until the application is acted upon by the Administrator.

(The information collection requirements contained herein were approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1235-0001)

[62 FR 64959, Dec. 9, 1997, as amended at 82 FR 2228, Jan. 9, 2017]

§520.406   What happens once I have submitted my request for authorization to pay messengers, learners, or apprentices subminimum wages?

(a) All applications submitted for authorization to pay wages lower than those required by section 6(a) of the FLSA will be considered and acted upon (issued or denied) subject to the conditions specified in §§520.403 and 520.404 of this part.

(b) If, in the case of messengers and/or learners, available information indicates that the requirements of this part are satisfied, the Administrator shall issue a special certificate which will be mailed to the employer. If a special certificate is denied, the employer shall be given written notice of the denial. If a messenger and/or learner certificate is denied, notice of such denial shall be without prejudice to the filing of any subsequent application.

(c) If, in the case of apprentices, the apprenticeship agreement and other available information indicate that the requirements of this part are satisfied, the Administrator shall issue a special certificate. The special certificate, if issued, shall be mailed to the employer or the apprenticeship committee and a copy shall be mailed to the apprentice. If a special certificate is denied, the employer or the apprenticeship committee, the apprentice and the recognized apprenticeship agency shall be given written notice of the denial. The employer shall pay the apprentice the minimum wage applicable under section 6(a) of the FLSA from the date of receipt of notice of such denial.

§520.407   What is the subminimum wage for messengers and what must I do to comply with the terms of my certificate?

(a) A messenger certificate, if issued, 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; and

(2) The effective and expiration dates of the certificate.

(b) The employer shall post a copy of the messenger certificate during its effective period in a conspicuous place where it can be readily seen by employees.

(c) No messenger shall be hired under a messenger certificate while abnormal labor conditions such as a strike, lock-out, or other similar condition, exist.

§520.408   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 §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.

§520.409   When will authority to pay apprentices special minimum wages become effective and what is the special minimum wage rate?

(a) An apprenticeship program which has been registered with a recognized apprenticeship agency shall constitute a temporary special certificate authorizing the employment of an apprentice at the wages and under the conditions specified in such program until a special certificate is issued or denied. This temporary authorization is, however, conditioned on the requirement that within 90 days from the beginning date of employment of the apprentice, the employer or the apprenticeship committee shall send one copy of each apprenticeship agreement, with evidence of registration, to the appropriate Regional Office of the Wage and Hour Division.

(b) The wage rate specified by the apprenticeship program becomes the special minimum wage rate that must be paid unless the Administrator issues a certificate modifying the terms and conditions of employment of apprentices at special minimum wages.

§520.410   How long does a messenger, learner, or apprentice certificate remain in effect?

(a) Messenger and/or learner certificates may be issued for a period of not longer than one year.

(b) Each special apprentice certificate shall specify the conditions and limitations under which it is granted, including the periods of time during which subminimum wage rates may be paid pursuant to a registered apprenticeship program.

(c) No certificate may be issued retroactively.

(d) The Administrator may amend the provisions of a certificate when necessary to correct omissions or defects in the original certificate or reflect changes in this part.

§520.411   Does a certificate authorizing payment of subminimum wages to messengers and/or learners remain in effect during the renewal process?

(a) Application for renewal of a messenger and/or learner certificate shall be made on the same form as described in this section and employees shall be advised of such renewal application in the same manner as explained in §520.405. No effective messenger and/or learner certificate shall expire until action on an application for renewal shall have been finally determined, provided that such application has been properly executed in accordance with the requirements, and filed with and received by the Administrator not less than fifteen nor more than thirty days prior to the expiration date. A final determination means either the granting of or initial denial of the application for renewal of a messenger and/or learner certificate, or withdrawal of the application. A “properly executed application” is one which contains the complete information required on the form, and the required certification by the applicant.

(b) A renewal certificate will not be issued unless there is a clear showing that the conditions set forth in section 520.404 of this part still prevail.

§520.412   What records, in addition to those required by Part 516 of this chapter and section 520.203 of this part, must I keep relating to the employment of messengers, learners, or apprentices under special certificate?

(a) Each worker employed as a messenger, learner, or apprentice under a certificate shall be designated as such on the employer's payroll records. All such messengers, learners, or apprentices shall be listed together as a separate group on the payroll records, with each messenger's, learner's, or apprentice's occupation being shown.

(b) At the time learners are hired, the employer shall also obtain and keep in his/her records a statement signed by each employee showing all applicable experience which the learner had in the employer's industry, including vocational training, during the preceding three years. The statement shall contain the dates of such previous employment, names and addresses of employers, the occupation or occupations in which the learner was engaged and the types of products upon which the learner worked. The statement shall also contain information concerning pertinent training in vocational training schools or similar training facilities, including the dates of such training and the identity of the vocational school or training facility. If the learner has had no applicable experience or pertinent training, a statement to that effect signed by the learner shall likewise be kept in the employer's records.

(c) The employer shall maintain a file of all evidence and records, including any correspondence, pertaining to the filing or cancellation of job orders placed with the local State or Territorial Public Employment Service Office pertaining to job orders for occupations to be performed by learners.

(d) Every employer who employs apprentices under temporary or special certificates shall preserve for three years from the last effective date of the certificate copies of the apprenticeship program, apprenticeship agreement and special certificate under which such an apprentice is employed.

(e) Every apprenticeship committee which holds a certificate under this part shall keep the following records for each apprentice under its control and supervision:

(1) The apprenticeship program, apprenticeship agreement and special certificate under which the apprentice is employed by an employer;

(2) The cumulative amount of work experience gained by the apprentice, in order to establish the proper wage at the time of his/her assignment to an employer; and

(3) A list of the employers to whom the apprentice was assigned and the period of time he/she worked for each employer.

(f) The records required in this section, including a copy of the application(s) submitted and any special certificate(s) issued, shall be kept and made available for inspection for at least three years from the expiration date of the certificate(s).

Need assistance?