CLI has a special certificate with the U.S. Department of Labor that allows CLI to pay a piece-rate to qualifying workers. However, that special certificate requires CLI to do local wage surveys every year to determine the prevailing wage for each type of task.
However, CLI pays ALL employees at least Ohio Minimum Hourly Wage ($8.15 per hour in 2017). We do this because we believe that it is in keeping with our core mission to do so– and because it felt like the cost to comply with the new Department of Labor regulations was contradictory to continuing to use sub-minimum wages. Rough estimates indicated an annual staff expense of at least $20,000 to properly administer all the DOL safeguards (prevailing wage surveys, time studies, etc.). We felt that the right choice was to move to state minimum wages in 2016.
CLI does continue to maintain a current sub-minimum wage certificate with the US Department of Labor and provides a wide array of unpaid activities based on the choices and interests of individuals who choose not to work.