Our Position on the Issue of Goodwill Paying Workers with Disabilities Sub-Minimum Wages, and How You Can Help

Goodwill is a thrift store; People can donate clothes and other items they no longer use to benefit others who may need them. This is a charitable act , and Goodwill is one the most respected charities in this space. What they do is commendable; however, what is not commendable is that workers with disabilities are being paid sub-minimum wages (as low as twenty-two cents an hour), while able-bodied workers get paid minimum wage. This is beyond wrong. No one can live off of twenty-two cents an hour, so it is not a good thing when workers with disabilities are expected to live off of so little money.

Here’s the kicker: paying workers with disabilities sub-minimum wage is totally legal. By law, this can be done by those who pride themselves on helping other people. Ironically, Goodwill employers are failing to help workers with disabilities.

In December’s issue of The Braille Monitor, Marc Maurer wrote an article that explains the National Federation of the Blind’s (NFB’s) policy, which is to change the law so that employers cannot pay workers who are blind and other workers with disabilities sub-minimum wage. He is also specific about the type of law that allows this ridiculousness to continue. This is section 14 © of the Fair Labor Standards Act. If you wish to learn more about this issue, feel free to read the article we’re referring to: Minimum Wage, Backlash, Shame, and Determination.

Last Friday at 10:00 P.m, NBC aired a news broadcast about Goodwill paying disabled workers sub-minimum wage.Feel free to listen to NBC’s broadcast on sub-minimum wages
Alternatively, you may read Disabled Workers Paid Just Pennies an Hour, and it’s Legal

Of Course, the employers who allow this to happen justify what they are doing by claiming that they are providing us with the opportunity to have meaningful employment, that we would have no other options without their help. However, this is false. People want to feel as if they are worth something when they have jobs, including us. Employers allowing us to be paid sub-minimum wage is like telling us that we should be grateful they are even paying us at all, but we aren’t. If you feel the same way, sign the petition telling Goodwill to provide fair wages.

What is your opinion on this issue? Share this entry with your friends, family, etc. Help us let Goodwill–and other places of employment—know that paying workers with disabilities sub-minimum wage is not fair, that this does not represent meaningful employment. Thank you so much for your support.

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One response to “Our Position on the Issue of Goodwill Paying Workers with Disabilities Sub-Minimum Wages, and How You Can Help

  1. Great article. It is a travesty that the discrimination like this still exists. Itls a huge and complicated issue and we can’t put 100% of the blame on employers. While we need to change laws and perceptions such as this, we also need to change the perceptions of those with the disabilities.

    I have spoken to many people who are blind, or going blind, and many of them believe that their vision loss is a death sentence, a tradgedy and that all that they are as people has been stripped away.

    It is hard…impossible to convince the sighted world it’s okay to be blind when many in the blind community don’t even believe it.

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