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MDOD Press Release                                                              December 2, 2020
Governor Hogan announces completion 
of the Equal Employment Act

Ends the use of sub-minimum wage for employees 
with disabilities in Maryland

Annapolis, MD - The Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) announced the completion of the Equal Employment Act (EEA), also known as the Ken Capone Act, and the phase-out of the use of 14c certificates in Maryland. Maryland was the second state in the nation to eliminate sub-minimum wage in 2016 when Governor Hogan signed the Ken Capone Act. There are no 14c certificates in use in Maryland after October 1, 2020.

"The elimination of sub-minimum wage in Maryland marks the opportunity to give all our citizens access to economic self-sufficiency and independence," said Governor Hogan.

The main provision in the EEA is the development and implementation of a phase-out plan of Maryland's current providers who have a 14c certificate over four years. The EEA was effective October 1st, 2016 and providers had until October 1st, 2020 to phase out their 14c certificate. On October 1st, 2016 there was also a provision banning any organization who had not previously held a certificate from applying for a new certificate.

"We are proud that Maryland is leading the way on this issue," said MDOD Secretary Carol A. Beatty. In a September 2020 report on the issue, The US Civil Rights Commission said the time has come to eliminate the policy.

The certificates authorize employers to pay sub-minimum wages to workers with disabilities that impair their productivity for the work they perform. The term '14c certificate' derives from a provision in section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act or (FLSA) of 1938 and is the origin of Individuals with Disabilities: Minimum Wage and Community Integration-Ken Capone Equal Employment Act. The Act means that Maryland will no longer recognize the certificates, which are issues by the US Department of Labor.

The Maryland Department of Health- Developmental Disabilities Administration reports that data over the past four years shows an increase in the percentage of people with disabilities taking part in competitive integrated employment, 20.1% in October 2016 to 22.8% in October 2019. While the percentage of people taking part in sheltered work continued to decrease from 20.5 % in October 2016 to 7.1 % in October 2019.


For press coverage, contact Kim McKay at 410.767.3654

About the Maryland Department of Disabilities: The Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) is charged with coordinating and improving the delivery of services to individuals with disabilities in the state of Maryland. By working collaboratively with all State government agencies, MDOD provides advocacy and guidance to ensure that State entities deliver services in the most integrated settings possible, develop consistent policies affecting those with disabilities, and consider the diverse needs of all when making decisions which impact Marylanders.