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National Center on Secondary Education and Transition

This document has been archived because some of the information it contains may be out of date. (6/09)

ESSENTIAL TOOLS —
Handbook for Implementing a Comprehensive Work-Based Learning Program According to the Fair Labor Standards Act
(Third Edition)


Introduction

Work-Based Learning (WBL) is an effective approach in delivering career and technical education and training to youth with disabilities. The WBL approach provides these services in community workplace settings rather than in conventional school environments. Because WBL activities take place in workplace settings, they must comply with the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) administered through the U.S. Department of Labor and state labor laws.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 and policy guidelines adopted by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education encourage the operation of WBL programs. Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require transition services planning and implementation for youth with disabilities; U.S. Departments of Labor and Education guidelines ensure that these services can be delivered in workplace settings according to the FLSA.

This Handbook for Implementing a Comprehensive Work-Based Learning Program According to the Fair Labor Standards Act provides guidance to schools operating WBL programs and encourages the adoption of WBL programs by schools not presently using this approach. By following the information and examples in this handbook, schools can proceed with confidence to operate effective WBL programs consistent with the FLSA.

The handbook has three sections. Section One introduces the events and actions leading to the development of WBL and guidelines promoting this approach consistent with the FLSA. Section Two presents answers to the questions most frequently asked by school personnel in carrying out WBL programs compliant with the FLSA. Section Three describes the WBL experiences of eight students ages 14-21. Sample forms, agreements, and supporting documentation required under IDEA and FLSA are included in these examples whenever possible.

Appendices to the handbook provide additional resource information including: (a) regional offices and personnel of the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division providing assistance with FLSA requirements, (b) organizations involved in planning and delivering transition services to youth with disabilities, and (c) information on Supplemental Security Income Work Incentives available to transition-age youth with disabilities.


Table of Contents

Introduction

Section I
The Goal of Productive Employment for All Youth
The Work-Based Learning (WBL) Approach to Productive Employment for Youth with Disabilities
Career Exploration
Career Assessment
Work-Related Training
Cooperative Work Experience

Requirements of the FLSA Related to WBL
The FLSA and WBL Career Exploration, Career Assessment, and Work-Related Training Components
The FLSA and WBL Cooperative Work Experience Component

Section II: Questions and Answers
Requirements for Participation
Documentation
Program Supervision
Instructional Programming
The Educational Relationship vs. the Employment Relationship

Section III: Case Studies: Examples of Work-Based Learning (WBL) Activities
Example 1: Career Exploration in Initial Transition Planning in a Rural Community
Example 2: Career Assessment Experience in a Cleaning Services Setting
Example 3: A Work-Related Training Experience in a Hotel Laundry Setting
Example 4: Cooperative Work Experience in a Restaurant Setting
Example 5: Career Exploration in Two Suburban Business Settings
Example 6: Career Assessment in a Large Business Setting
Example 7: Work-Related Training in Three Workplace Settings
Example 8: Cooperative Work Experience at Special Minimum Wages

Appendix A: U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration Wage and Hour Division Regional Contacts

Appendix B: Organizations Providing Assistance in the Planning of Transition Services for Youth With Disabilities
Office of Special Education Programs Regional and Federal Resource Centers
State Transition Contacts

Appendix C: SSI Work Incentives Available to Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities
Earned Income Exclusion (EIE)
Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE)
Impairment-Related Work Expense (IRWE)
Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PESS)
Blind Work Expenses (BWE)
Property Essential to Self-Support (PESS)



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Citation: Johnson, D. R., Sword, C., & Habhegger, B. (2004). Essential tools: Handbook for implementing a comprehensive work-based learning program according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (3rd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration, National Center on Secondary Education and Transition.

Permission is granted to duplicate this publication in its entirety or portions thereof. Upon request, this publication will be made available in alternative formats. For additional copies of this publication, or to request an alternate format, please contact: Institute on Community Integration Publications Office, 109 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, (612) 624-4512, icipub@umn.edu.

This document was published by the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET). NCSET is supported through a cooperative agreement #H326J000005 with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education Programs, and no official endorsement should be inferred. The University of Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition are equal opportunity employers and educators.