Beginning July 1, 2021, the act prohibits an employer from paying an employee whose earning capacity is impaired by age, physical or mental disability, or injury less than minimum wage if the employer does not hold a special certificate issued on or before June 30, 2021, by the United States department of labor that authorizes the employer to pay wages below minimum wage to those employees. The act phases out subminimum wage employment for employers that hold a special certificate and by June 30, 2022, requires each employer that holds a special certificate to submit a transition plan to the department of health care policy and financing (department) detailing how the employer plans to phase out subminimum wage employment by July 1, 2025. On and after July 1, 2025, an employer is prohibited from paying an employee with a disability less than minimum wage regardless of whether the employer was issued a special certificate.
The act requires the employment first advisory partnership in the Colorado department of labor and employment (partnership) to:
- Develop actionable recommendations to address structural and fiscal barriers to phasing out subminimum wage employment and successfully implementing competitive integrated employment; and
- Report the recommendations to specified committees of the general assembly.
The act also continues operation of the partnership, which was scheduled to repeal on July 1, 2021, indefinitely.
The act requires the department to seek federal approval to add employment-related services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities under the state's medicaid waiver services.
$90,691 is appropriated to the department to implement the act. The department also expects to receive $409,885 in federal funds to implement the act.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)