Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Orange bar
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Labor Standards -- Disabled-worker employment information guide

Under Minnesota Statutes 177.28, the Department of Labor and Industry is authorized to issue a permit to a disabled worker (performance-limited employee), unable to earn the state minimum-wage, to work at a wage commensurate with his or her ability.


  1. Application for such a permit will be made by the disabled worker to the Department of Labor and Industry. The application forms may be obtained from the Department of Labor and Industry, Labor Standards, 443 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN  55155, telephone (651) 284-5070. Request forms LI-80014-01 and LI-80015-01 (these forms can also be opened directly, completed online, printed and mailed to the department).

  2. The application shall include information about the applicant's disability, a description of the job the applicant will do, how the disability affects performance on the job, the proposed wage, wages for nondisabled workers with similar jobs, hours of work per day and week, and previous experience of a worker in similar jobs.

  3. Form LI-80014-01 shall be signed by the employer and employee. Form LI-80015-01 shall be signed by the employer only.


If the application and other available information indicate the applicant cannot earn a living wage, the department will issue a permit for subminimal-wage rate for employment at a wage less than the applicable state minimum.

  • The permit will specify the name of the worker, the occupation at which the applicant is to be employed, the subminimal-wage rate and the length of time such rate may be paid.

  • Workers may be paid subminimal wages only during the effective period of the permit.

  • Wage rates in the permit will be established on the basis of a comparison between the job performance of the disabled worker and that of a nondisabled worker.

  • A permit will not excuse noncompliance with any other federal or state law or municipal ordinance establishing higher standards.


  1. Every employer that employs a disabled worker under a permit shall keep and have available a copy of the permit for inspection by the Department of Labor and Industry or its authorized representative.

  2. Records of hours of work per day and week, time of starting and stopping work each day, and wages paid must also be maintained as required by Minnesota Statutes 177.30 and Minnesota Rules 5200.0100, and be available for inspection.

DLI home page | Directions and maps | News and media | Website disclaimer