Career Counseling, Information, and Referral

Career Counseling and Information and Referral Services

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Section 511 is a federal law that placed new work rules effective July 22, 2016, for entities holding special wage certificates under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (14(c) employer). WIOA Section 511 requires that individuals with significant disabilities receive specific services and be given an opportunity to explore and obtain community employment. As the designated state entity, the DOR Achieving Community Employment (ACE) Team provides career counseling and information and referral (CC&IR) services to all individuals with a significant disability and employed at subminimum wage and known to DOR.


All individuals working in a job that pays subminimum wages must receive specific Section 511 services to continue working for pay that is less than minimum wage. The 14(c) employer is required to ensure that the employee received these services, and must retain documents to support the completion of CC&IR services and receipt of information about local self-advocacy, self-determination, and peer mentoring training and resources.

Required Section 511 Services

  1. CC&IR services, provided by DOR ACE Counselors in a way that promotes independent decision-making and informed choice.

  2. Information on self-advocacy, self-determination, and peer mentoring resources and training opportunities available in their local area. The 14(c) employer must provide this information during the same intervals as the CC&IR services.

    • 14(c) employers with less than 15 employees may refer their employees working in subminimum wage settings to the DOR ACE Counselor for self-advocacy, self-determination, and peer mentoring training opportunities available in the individual's local area.

    • WIOA prohibits 14(c) certificate holder/employers from directly providing self-advocacy, self-determination, and peer mentoring services.

Frequency of Services

  • All individuals currently working in a job that pays less than minimum wage must receive the required services at least once per year while continuing in employment and paid subminimum wages.

  • All individuals hired on or after July 22, 2016, for a job that pays less than minimum wage must receive the required services twice during their first year of employment receiving subminimum wages one time during the first six months from their hire date, with the second CC&IR service provided during the second six months.

Supplemental Notes:

  • Individuals earning subminimum wages may continue working pending receipt of required services so long as they are received at least once (or twice for new hires) by July 22.

  • Individuals 25 years and older must complete CC&IR services after they are hired for a job that pays less than minimum wages.

  • Youth 24 years old and younger must complete all required pre-subminimum wage job requirements before they can be hired for any job that pays less than minimum wage. Once hired, the youth must complete the required services in the same frequency as listed above for individuals hired on or after July 22, 2016.

  • Section 511 applies only to individuals working in jobs that pay less than minimum wage. As such, individuals working for less than prevailing wages are not subject to Section 511 requirements.

  • Individuals do not need to participate in CC&IR if they are either:

    • Currently working and receiving California minimum wage or above.

    • Involved in a recreation program (without an employment component) and not receiving subminimum wages.

Documentation to Support Completion of Services

To support completion of the required services, 14(c) employers are required to maintain the following documentation for review by DOL:

  1. After completion of CC&IR services, the DOR ACE Counselor will sign and issue the DR397A CC&IR Form A: Verification to the individual, with a copy for the 14(c) employer.

    Note: The DOR ACE Counselor strives to encourage all individuals to participate in required CC&IR services. However, if the individual ultimately refuses to participate in CC&IR, the DOR ACE Counselor will inform the individual that their refusal will mean that he or she will no longer be able to earn a subminimum wage. The DOR ACE Counselor will issue a DR397B CC&IR Form B: Waiver/Refusal that the individual will also need to sign acknowledging their refusal.

  2. The 14(c) employer must prepare and maintain documentation to support that each individual received information on self-advocacy, self-determination, and peer mentoring resources and training opportunities available in their local area.

If required Section 511 documentation is not retained, 14(c) employers may be subject to an assessment of back wages at the full minimum wage for each affected employee as determined by the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division.



Effective July 22, 2016, all youth under 25 years old must complete the following required pre-subminimum wage job activities before they can be hired by a 14(c) certificate holder/employer for a job that pays less than minimum wage:

  1. Apply for vocational rehabilitation services so the individual can be determined:

    • Ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services, including because the youth, through informed choice, does not want to achieve community employment at this time.

    • Eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, has an approved Individualized Plan for Employment, and the consumer was unable to achieve a competitive integrated employment (CIE) outcome.

  2. Receive career counseling from DOR, including information and referral (CC&IR) about federal and state employment and support programs that can help the individual discover, experience, find, and keep CIE.

  3. Receive Pre-Employment Transition Services provided by DOR or Transition Services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (as designated in the student's Individualized Education Plan - IEP).

Upon completion of the required pre-subminimum wage job activities, the youth individual will receive a packet with federally-required forms that must be provided to any 14(c) employer before working and receiving pay that is less than minimum wage.

More information about Limitations on Subminimum Wage for Youth


Employer Requests for CC&IR Services

Request CC&IR Services - 14(c) Certificate Holder Employers

  • As a 14(c) employer, when do I need to submit a new request for CC&IR Services for employees receiving subminimum wage?

    • As soon as possible upon hiring an employee receiving less than minimum wage

    • After the employee's first year on the job, annually as they continue working in subminimum wage employment

The above Employer Request for CC&IR Services is not to be used to request services for individuals 24 years of age or younger who desire subminimum wage employment. In order for DOR to provide the required information as specified in the Subminimum Wage Restrictions for Youth section of the webpage, individuals 24 years of age or younger will need to apply for DOR services at their local DOR office.


Public Forums


Letters and Updates


Factsheets and CC&IR Forms


CIE Resources

The State of California accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of the external websites or external documents linked to on this website.

Who can I contact for more information?

Employment support services:

Work experience and training:

Education and training:

Job training:

Requirements for 14(c) certificate holders:

Self-advocacy and self-determination

Youth Services:



Contact Icon Contact ACE Team

For questions about CC&IR Services, please email us at, or call us at 1-916-558-5867.

Service Scheduling and Delivery Questions? Contact ACE Counselors

CC&IR Links