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- FLSA Section 14(c) Advisor

The 90/10 Quantity/Quality weighting method Under FLSA Section 14(c)

Although not required by the regulations, one method of measuring quality that the Wage and Hour Division has accepted when determining an hourly commensurate rate is a technique known as the 90/10 Quantity/Quality weighting method. Various forms have been created by employers and interested parties that assist them in performing the 90/10 Quantity/Quality weighting method. Although the Wage and Hour Division has not officially reviewed and approved any of these forms, it accepts their use when properly completed.

Although the 90/10 methodology was designed to be used when “rework” is not included in the time studies, some employers still choose to use the 90/10 even after including rework. In these situations, the Wage and Hour Division accepts this practice as long as there is no deduction from the quality rating because it is to the benefit of the worker with a disability.

Under the 90/10 Quantity/Quality weighting method, the standard setter must perform up to the pre-established minimum acceptable quality and quantity standards when being time studied. If he or she does not, the employer must either redefine the standards to comport with the performance of the worker without a disability or conduct another time study.

Under this method a 90 percent rating factor is assigned to the quantity of work performed and a 10 percent rating factor assigned to quality of the work performed. Time studies are conducted, under identical circumstances, to determine the productivity (both in terms of quality and quantity) of both the worker who does not have a disability and the worker who has a disability.

  • To determine the worker with a disability’s “quantity” rating, the employer must first compare the quantity of work performed by the worker with a disability to that of the standard setter (the worker who does not have a disability). This figure is then multiplied by 90 percent.

A very simple example might be that the minimum acceptable number of wastebaskets to be emptied by a custodian in 30 minutes, as confirmed by the time study of the standard setter, is 20. If the worker with a disability empties 15 during the 30-minute time study, that worker has an initial quantity rating of 75 percent (15 divided by 20). When this is multiplied by 90 percent, the final quantity rating is .675 or 67.5 percent.

When determining the worker with a disability’s quantity rating, the employer must arrive at that rating by evaluating the worker only on the job components actually performed. The work measurement method of breaking down a job into its components, and then rating the worker on each individual component, is referred to as factoring. The employer may only rate the worker on the components actually performed and may not penalize a worker because he or she fails to perform, or is incapable of performing, a certain component(s) of the job.

  • To determine the worker with a disability’s “quality” rating, the employer must compare the quality of the work performed by the worker with a disability to that of the work performed by the worker who does not have a disability. This figure is then multiplied by 10 percent.

Continuing with the example above, if the quality standard was that no more than four wastebaskets may have any debris remaining in them after being “emptied,” and the worker with a disability leaves debris in only one of the wastebaskets, the initial quality rating would be 100 percent. This figure is then multiplied by 10 percent to arrive at the final quality rating of 10 percent.

Note: Had the worker with a disability left debris in five of the wastebaskets, the employer would be allowed to assign a lower initial quality rating based on an objectively pre-determined scale.

The employer then adds together the final quality and quantity ratings that were obtained for the worker with a disability. This is then multiplied by the prevailing wage to obtain the commensurate wage rate of the worker with a disability.

Again, using the example above, the evaluation of the work performed by the worker with a disability yielded a total final rating of 77.5% (67.5 percent for quantity plus 10 percent for quality). If the prevailing wage for the job being performed is $6.50 per hour, the commensurate rate would be $5.0375 or $5.04 per hour (77.5 percent multiplied by $6.50 per hour yields $5.0375 per hour).

Employees may not modify the standard 90/10 quantity/quality weighting factors by assigning a higher weight to quality then 10 percent. Attempts to assign weights of "80/20," or "70/30," etc. will not be approved. Please contact the Section 14(c) Certification Team located in Chicago, Illinois, should you have any questions about the 90/10 Quantity/Quality Weighting Method.

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FLSA Section 14(c) Advisor | Wage and Hour Division