Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Goodwill Takes Heat For Paying Those With Disabilities Less

A national disability advocacy group is urging a boycott of Goodwill arguing that the collector of unwanted clothes and furniture should not be paying workers with disabilities less than minimum wage.
The National Federation of the Blind is coming out against Goodwill after obtaining documents showing that the venerable nonprofit known for reselling household goods pays some workers with disabilities as little as $1.44 per hour.
“We are calling upon all Americans to refuse to do business with Goodwill Industries, to refuse to make donations to the subminimum wage exploiter and to refuse to shop in its retail stores until it exercises true leadership and sound moral judgment by fairly compensating its workers with disabilities,” said Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind.
Goodwill’s compensation practices are legal. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers have been able to obtain special permission from the U.S. Department of Labor since the 1930s to pay those with disabilities less than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.
However, the National Federation of the Blind says the allowance is based on an outdated view of the ability of individuals with disabilities to work and they say that Goodwill should do better.
“That Goodwill Industries exploits many of its workers in this way is ironic, because its president and chief executive officer is blind. Goodwill cannot credibly argue that workers with disabilities are incapable of doing productive work while paying its blind CEO over half-a-million dollars a year,” Maurer said.
Read more of Michelle Diament's Disability Scoop article HERE.
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