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Goodwill Takes Heat For Paying Those With Disabilities Less


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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However, the National Federation of the Blind says the allowance is based on an outdated view of the ability of individuals with disabilities to work and they say that Goodwill should do better.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.

The National Federation of the Blind and dozens of other disability advocacy groups support legislation introduced in Congress last year that would end subminimum wage altogether. However, no further action has been taken on the bill.

For their part, Goodwill representatives said in a statement that 64 of their 165 local affiliates pay employees with significant disabilities below minimum wage but such workers receive an average of $7.47 per hour.

“Goodwill supports changes in the (law) so long as the right of people with disabilities to maintain employment of their choice is preserved,” the statement said.

What’s more, the group added that paying less than minimum wage “enables Goodwill and thousands of other employers to provide opportunities for people with severe disabilities who otherwise might not be part of the workforce.”

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Comments (48 Responses)

  1. Melissa says:

    This boycott of Goodwill is ridiculous and ignorant. Not only is paying less than minimum wage to individuals with disabilities LEGAL under both federal and state wage & hour laws, it is also done for a very good reason – so that their employees who receive SSI or any other government benefits, such as Medicaid, will not lose them if they earn too much money! Goodwill is a leader in employing individuals with disabilities and these other “disability advocates” who are supporting this boycott, should really do their homework before making unjust accusations.

  2. Ralph Courtney says:

    I do understand the anger that payment of subminimum wages generates among many disability advocates. They should be seen as productive workers There are, however, individuals with disabilities for whom technology is not yet available to assist them in being productive at a minimum wage level. The legislation desired by some would prevent this group of individuals with severe disabilities from working. They also want to be productive and do not want to sit in day care type settings or at home all of their lives. It’s not all about pay. It’s about self-worth.

  3. Eric says:

    I don’t believe that Goodwill would argue, to Mr. Mauer’s point, that workers with disabilities are incapable of doing productive work. They, along with similar organizations, have created a model that promotes opportunities for people with significant disabilities to work and contribute. The Fair Labor Standards Act allows them to compensate these individuals based on their productivity. The way that this law is written may be outdated but to do away with a system like this altogether would displace thousands of individuals who would find it difficult to become competitively employed.

  4. Mozi Esmes Mom says:

    While I can’t personally speak for Goodwill, there are MANY organizations with lean budgets that make it a mission – going far above and beyond – to enable people with severe disabilities to work productively. Reasonable accomodations are made, people are paid according to their level of productivity, and there is no exploitation involved. Getting rid of subminimum wage means a segment of the population, already dealing with excessive unemployment, will reach much higher levels of unemployment. This advocacy thing would hurt, not help.

  5. KA101 says:

    Impressive–4 for 4 supporting paying disabled folks less than minimum wage.

    “Legal” does not necessarily equal “correct” (it was “legal” to treat workers in all sorts of inhumane ways back in the day, and I’m sure some folks still think we ought to be able to own people outright).
    I’ll see your cites for that “insufficient productivity” argument–seems dangerously similar to the sexist & discriminatory idea that “women sit around and talk all day, rather than work, so they don’t deserve equal pay”.
    And all the self-worth in the world won’t buy me a new pair of jeans. If the CEO’s making $500K+ per year, I think we can cut that and pay the workers a bit more.

  6. Teri says:

    paying at “productivity ” rate means just that , If you are working at the avg. productivity rate for that job you will be paid minimum or better wages, Having visual impairments does not mean your productivity is below minimum, you are more likely, but not always, to have lower productivity if you have an intellictual disability, though again not alway. My son has an IQ of 52 and types at 60 words a minute so he works and gets a wage based on his productivity which is above minimum. So the CEO of Goodwill makes a lot of money , he should, being blind doesn’t mean his productivty is low….Productivity is the key here not “disability”

  7. Johannes says:

    May be the CEO is overpaid, but that is the American Way. If a person produces signifcantly less than the average employee than a graded pay scale below minimum wage is justified. It is better to earn some money than none. I would imagine that most person earning less than the minimum wage are also on SSI.

  8. Susan Ford Keller says:

    I’m with KA101 on this one. Substitute any other minority for “disabled” and you’ll see how archaic this mindset is of paying disabled people less than minimum wage.

    Not to mention that employers are probably getting tax credits for employing disabled people so employers win coming and going. They get cheap help and they get a tax break. By all means, let’s exploit the disabled….NOT!!!

  9. Paul Harvey says:

    National Federation of the Blind needs to stay out of what they clearly do not unserstand. Unless they prefer to see people with significant disabilties (including those with developmental disabilities) stay at home. My son works as a dishwasher in a corporate cafeteria in a subminimum wage group. He is much slower that a non-disabled worker and is paid fairly. His speed is evaluated periodically and his wage adjusted.

    I am disappointed that DisabilityScoop carried this article — I thought you were for improving the lives of people with disabilities. I may drop DisabilityScoop.

  10. Dr Lois Tannenbaum says:

    I firmly agree that Goodwill should pay minimum wage. However, society as a whole needs to investigate all the employers, sheltered workshops, and day hab work programs in which this same practice is common practice.

  11. Barbara Morgan says:

    Melissa may have a point–paying less does protect their SSI and other benefits TO A POINT. But what she doesn’t address is that by paying sub-minimum wages the employer is preventing the employee who is disabled from earning enough work credits to be eligible for Medicare. And that is what most of our young people in the challenged community are working toward.

  12. Tenzin says:

    To KA 101:
    Thank you for existing and posting; I was horrified that 4 out of 4 people defended the practice too. It smacks of exploitation and greed to pay people less than minimum wage, particularly when the CEO pulls in half a million per year. All people deserve dignity and a living wage in America, a nation ostensibly founded on principles of equality and fairness.

  13. Marian says:

    In stead of boycutting goodwill why not write whitehouse and ask why they are not doing more for the young adults with disabilites that are mild to moderate find a productive job and get off social security. There are alot of young adults capable to become effective workers in society if given a chance.

  14. Mike says:

    Very well said Melissa, Ralph, Eric and Mozi!

  15. colleen says:

    In my view, one of the problems we’ve seen for too many years is the view that people with developmental disabilities cannot be productive in employment. The Goodwill model, and other forms of sheltered employment, set the bar low enough that people don’t have far to go to reach it in their jobs. One commenter pointed out, somewhat correctly, that the Medicaid disincentives to work (making too much in salary and losing that SSI check) are a major problem. However, we need to put all of our efforts behind Medicaid reform so that it provides work incentives,appropriate benefits and enables the dignity that comes from work. Some Goodwills are working to get people with disabilities into competitive employment. Others remain in the past, patronizing workers with disabilities by paying subminimum wages and offering menial work. Time for higher expectations! CEO makes a good wage. Why not set a better example and provide leadership to better wages and improved performance for disabled workers?

  16. hdemic says:

    The disabled have always been exploited even by those that are supposed to advacate. My daughter has turned 18 so I am looking for serverices for the disabled. Not expecting her to get paid just her fair share. MOKA stated they never have had someone as disabled as her. They don’t have wheelchair vehicles. Even thoe I suggested I would drive her to where ever so she could socilize more. No person centered plan. These so called avacacy groups (middle man agencies)want the easiest kids (abled body) so they can pack in the most and get the biggest grants from the feds to line thier own pockets. No news here. All though my daughter is black so apparently that makes her look more disabled. So back to network 180 (current name of west mich mental disabled what ever) to add on to my every day PTSD I have aquired to fight fight fight fight fight fight fight. constant war just for basic rights.
    war mom of disabled daughter in west mich

  17. annie says:

    I agree with Melissa, I don’t think it’s necessarily all about ripping off these individuals with disabilities. Obviously I don’t agree with discriminating against a person’s value in the workplace, however, it is crucial sometimes that a person’s income be low so that they can access the services they need. That doesn’t mean we should make those individuals sit at home doing nothing all day just to keep their services though. Getting out into the world and contributing/interacting is a rewarding experience for everyone involved, and everyone deserves that chance. Chances are that the less an employee can productively contribute, the more severe their need to remain eligible for their services is too…

  18. Sophia says:

    Melissa, you’re right on target with the reality that many disabled people are receiving public benefits that will be reduced or eliminated if they make “too much” money. That exposes a glaring fault in our public welfare system: that there is no incentive for people on public assistance to get off of it for fear of losing their income, or for disabled individuals to earn more income and keep their benefits.
    I will also say it is not fair or realistic to compare the salary paid to a CEO of a not for profit with a line worker’s salary. The two jobs are vastly different. The CEO of Goodwill has a vastly different set of responsibilities than a person on the other end of the spectrum. Indeed, most CEO’s of not-for-profits could earn ALOT more if they were the CEO of a for-profit organization. That they choose to sacrifice income potential to aid others is impressive to me. Personally, I think we don’t pay our NFP CEO’s enough to do what they do: raise millions of dollars, cast vision and lead to achieve a mission, and make a difference in people’s lives. Maybe if we paid NFP CEO’s double-digit million dollar salaries more people would go to work to HELP people!

  19. Karen Driver says:

    My family has lived this! My son who has severe cerebral palsy struggled HARD to pass paper down an assembly line that was a joke for “training” . . . for what? . . . no such “job” exists and he was paid a measly .23 an hour! . . . for STRUGGLING! His time building self-worth via social capital through friendships on a “job” is better done working one hour a week with 100% assistance and spending the rest of his days volunteering and in his community building lasting friendship with people without disabilities and people who are paid to help him! Like all other “changes”, this needs to happen slow so that people who do depend on that measly $5.00 a month and are living in poverty do not wind up without any spending money . . . . which sadly again could be recouped with one hour at minimum wage even with 100% assistance! This is just another example of people with disabilities not having “choice” or having a choice but due to lack of understanding, being taken advantage of! Hoping and praying for an end to any treatment of people with disabilities that harms rather than protects. Just as the factory that worked and housed people with disabilities and paid them sub-minimum, leaving them without an “out” to their living arrangement, so are programs providing housing and “services” and then throwing people with disabilities out of their homes if the express dissatisfaction with their services! . . . my brother has just been discharged from a residential program because we were continuously having to advocate for his access to and choice of food! I get paid by an affiliate organization to assist families with advocacy and my brother loses his “home” of 13 years because I was advocating for him! . . . even with a picture of his refrigerator with 30 or so hamburger buns in an apartment where only he lives! We must rid our society of any program setups that have the possibility of this kind of abuse and neglect! A man’s “home” should never be tied to the services he receives . . . no doubt people have been discharged from residential programs because the refuse to take part in these sub-minimum wage “training” programs!

  20. Sophia says:

    It is unrealistic to compare the salary of a CEO with the pay of a line worker. The CEO of a not for profit should be paid a healthy salary compared to the line worker at the same not for profit. For one thing, the CEO is responsible for raising hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to support the organization. They are the public face of the organization and the one held responsible for the organization’s success or failure. Indeed, the CEO of a not for profit could make a lot more money working in the for profit sector under the same job title. However, they make a decision to trade a bigger salary and more prestige for serving in the not for profit sector. Blind or not, the CEO of Goodwill International is compensated justly for his position. So, too, are the line workers. Many disabled workers are paid to do piece work. They are paid by the piece. So, they do not earn the type of pay that other workers do. Also, I am glad Melissa pointed out that there is a good reason for some disabled workers NOT to earn more so they can keep their benefits. If the National Federation for the Blind wants to “help” blind workers they should put their time and money into lobbying for changes in disability payments and other government aid that allows disabled people to keep their support and the opportunity to earn income through work.

  21. Brian Bishoff says:

    I’m also astonished at the number of people here who support exploitative labor practices of those with disabilities. It’s a false choice to say either you sit around not doing anything productive or work at a sub-minumum wage job. Agencies where I work in SW New Hampshire as a matter of policy don’t support people to work at sub-minumum jobs. You should advocate for the same where you live.

    In fact Social Security has excellent, flexible work incentive programs, Ticket to Work for is one, just ask them about it. Over 40 states have Medicaid buy-in programs. Research first, don’t spread the misinformation that you will lose all your benefits if you are disabled and you work, please!!!

  22. Paul Harvey says:

    So let me understand the real life point of those demanding “fair treatment” — the developmentally disable have an unemployment rate of over 60% — those with nothing to do or look forward to or have friends to associate with should stay home until what?? — should their SSI be used in the callulation of dollars earned per hour? — after all the non-disabled workers do not recieve SSI. Are there many who can perform at level to support higher wages — absolutely. But what about the majority. If unemployment is 60+% what will make this go down to the national average? — perhaps they could all work for the Federal Goverment where productivity is not essential to staying in business. Actually, those receiving SSI do in a way work for the Federal Goverment – they just don’t have to do anything.

    I have spent 18 years helping find jobs – good jobs that are rewarding — my focus is on the good work environment not so much on how much they make. I want to see all who want to work get a chance. Starting below minimum wage doesn’t mean that they can work their way up. Sadly many parents don’t want their adult to work because they misunderstand the effect on SSI.

    My son is very happy with himself and enjoys being with is coworkers — that is very high on my wish list.

  23. Paula says:

    Um …. if there is an honest concern about making too much money, perhaps the person could be paid a standardized living wage and work fewer hours? Just a thought. I cannot imagine how demeaning it must be to be paid such a low wage. Why take any pride in your work or the abilities you do have if others don’t value you? That “paycheque” would be a constant reminder of how society as a whole devalues you, as a person with a disability.

  24. Mary A Miller says:

    BS about the legalities of paying us less than minimum wage, just because of SSI,SSDI reasons. The reality is that we still pay into the program (SSDI insurance) (thank you), we still need outside insurance if we are not working under the umbrella amount allowed for SSD, which comes out of our wages as well. Yes, I understand that if we work slave labor we should keep our SSD, but SSD sees it differently and also opens the door for every other employer to ASSUME that they should also be ‘allowed’ to pay slave labor regardless of job, experience and need. If the folks work for more than a certain amount of hours they are docked by medicaid/SSD, because assumes you are now considered temporarily abled to work. If this is so accepted, then for heaven’s sake, why is UCP being sued in Oregon? Cerebral Palsy Association (UCP) is currently in process of being SUED for not paying anywhere near min. wage for having their workers ‘sort plastic’ (a job often seen in the Philippines and China)..and in other assumed third world countries. Not jobs that actually lead to real employment skills in the end. If you have a master’s degree and actually get a job working for Goodwill, you will find they honestly are profit making and most of the funds earned go to administration, not assisting ‘the disabled towards better jobs’ anyone check with those ‘cute disabled folks begging you on TV for your used cars if they got paid to do the television ad?’ chances are, no one asked. We did in Ohio, where this add is splattered all over the stations locally,and the answer to that question is: NO they did not. They felt ‘honored’ to do the ad, never mind the amount of business it brings to Goodwill and the royalties that the administrator who did the ads made doing them.

  25. Sue says:

    As a mother of a child with severe disabilities, and one who has worked with adults with special needs, I do not agree with boycotting Goodwill. I believe Goodwill gives opportunities to people with disabilities. I believe pay increases would limit the amount of people who would benefit from these opportunities. I believe the pay should be based on performance, etc.

  26. L says:

    Goodwill should be ashamed of themselves! They get all these things to sell for free yet they are paying the disabled as little as $1.44 per hour! That is ridiculous! And to Melissa, Goodwill could pay these employees justly but work them less hours to ensure that they would not lose there benefits, they DO NOT need to work them for five hours just to make one hours worth of minimum wage. I have been a frequent shopper at Goodwill for years and I have seen what various disabled workers do there and it seems that they do most of the crap work because they don’t man the registers. I think that deserves at least minimum wage pay! Furthermore, I am very close to some of the other employees of one of the stores and they also agree that they work just as hard and that paying them such an insignificant amount of money for their time and effort is sickening! I agree with the boycott and believe that what they are doing is unjust and they deserve to be treated better than that! As far as self worth…them and their time are worth more than $1.44 per hour!

  27. Sally E. Coy says:

    I believe that sub-minimum wage for anyone is nothing more than slavery. If individuals received the minimum wage they would become taxpayers. Goodwill has become another large industry where the individuals at the top receive large compensation for the work they do while the individuals at the bottom receive less than minimum wage. When as a society are we going to value everyone and value their contribution to society by providing them adequate wages.

    There are three areas of employment that I know of that do not have to meet them minimum wage requirement. They are farmworkers, newspaper delivery persons, and sheltered workshops. I believe all workers are entitled to a living wage.

  28. Mozi Esmes Mom says:

    Sadly, my previous comment with link hasn’t been approved; I think it would prove quite educational for many of you…

    Under the FLSA, ANY employer (with certification from Dept of Labor) can pay sub-minimum wage to any worker with a physical or mental disability that affects the amount and/or quality of their work. The purpose is to help workers with disabilities to obtain jobs from employers who would otherwise be hesitant to hire them.

    This program isn’t limited to “sheltered workshops.” And in the cases I’ve seen it used, it certainly isn’t taking advantage of people or remotely reminiscent of slave labor. Calling it such is 1) an insult to workers with disabilities who take tremendous pride in their work at commensurate wage, and 2) a huge injustice to those who did (and do) endure real slavery.

  29. Rosella A. Alm says:

    As soon as Goodwill starts paying its CEO less than $7.47 per hour then I will boycott their stores and use another charity for my donations. It is an appalling example of bigotry for an organization that is supposed to be assisting people with disabilities to use them in such a fashion. Do you think those corporate CEOs who get those huge bonuses are actually “worth” $300,000,000.00 or so? Productivity is not the question.

    They aren’t alone either. There are many so-called “sheltered workshops” that do the same thing. DON’T DO BAD STUFF!!!

  30. koda says:

    I think the nfb is correct. My dad is a blind attorney, and i think blind people would know more about it than these people who say 1.41 an hour is a good wage.

  31. jeffrey seybold says:

    i think this is discustine i not only worked for a simler company that is a fourtain 5 hondred company that hired nothing but pepole with all kinds of disablity but they paid there employes nothing but time studey’s and piece rate pay the company was pide inudstries and its heart breaking when they get there checks and see that all there hard work was for nothing but 74.00 for 2 weeks worth of pay not inculding the fact that they had the right to dock there pay when theres no work or when they are haveng trouble with there disablitys its just sicking

  32. Dawn says:

    I would like to say that the individuals are rated based upon the work of someone who doesn’t have a disability and is paid to whatever percentage of production they turn out in comparison. In addition, many of these individuals are on SSDI or SSI and limit the amount of income they take in on their own. I know of individuals that refuse pay raises because of how it will effect their social security. The “sheltered workshop” here is utilized for those individuals that have a disability or impairment so severe that it prevents them form being able to obtain and maintain employment within the community.

  33. Belinda Spinosi says:

    I applaud National Federation of the Blind for taking this initiative. I will stand with you. I happen to also be in a disability class that is largely misunderstood. The important thing, from my perspective, is to know that individuals who are working for less than minimum wage feel disenfranchised and discriminated against, as I too believe they are, regardless if States ask the Federal Government for exemptions, as Ohio as done. We all want to be treated equally. Regarding the loss of Supplemental Income benefits, that is thought to be lost if a person increases their income, SSI income will be reduced 1 dollar for each 2 dollars earned after the first $65 is deducted and Impairment-Related Work Expenses are deducted, Medicaid benefits will continue through 1619(b) and after that threshold of income is passed for those in States who have passed, Medicaid Buy In for Workers with Disabilities will continue onwards up to $59,000 in some states. Productive workers are what Americans are all about. If a job exists, it is necessary and competitive. If organizations, including nonprofits, state agencies and for profits, feel that the only way they can be successful is in the slave wages on the backs of people with disabilities, for the greater good of the nation and workers, they need to go out of business.

  34. Jenny Donaldson says:

    BALONEY!! Goodwill runs sweat shops and uses what might as well be slave labor. The “average of $7.25/hour” is nothing but an outright lie!! I recently heard that they are talking about closing the workshops and placing the individuals who work in the workshops in the thrift stores and Still pay sub minimum. There are plenty of work incentives that protects people with disabilities from losing their benefits by working and why is a person with a disability worth less than a person without one? ALSO, people who are high producers are discouraged from leaving the workshops because that’s how Goodwill makes their money–not from the people with the most significant disabilities that they were originally supposed to have been designed for. I’m sure Goodwill has helped some people but I personally have no respect and a great disdain for them. I’m so sorry to see so many posts in favor of this! Employment for people with disabilities should be geared toward helping people get jobs in integrated settings and to become part of the community–not to be segregated. There are many organizations who have this mission and they are RIGHT ON!

  35. Cory Hoedebecke says:

    You must have all the facts before you pass judgement. Not only do I work for Goodwill in a program that assists adults with disabilities to find and keep employment, I am brother and co-guardian to an adult sibling that receives Supported Employment Services. Funding attached to my program stipulates all individuals can not be paid below minimum wage. However, there is a legitimate reason to pay subminimum wages in certain circumstances. Before anyone receives a subminimum wage a time study is performed to determine the level of productivity on an individual basis. People are not paid less than minimum simply because they have a disability. Having that option allows individuals with limitations due to the disability to still gain employment. If a person performs at 75% of a non-disabled worker then the wage would reflect that. You are sorely mistaken if you think businesses are giving jobs to anyone, regardless of their situation, who can not perform the duties to the expected level of production. As a guardian and brother, I understand fully that due to my loved one’s disability he can not perform certain jobs in comparison to a non-disabled person. It is foolish for us to demand that some person or company pay him minimum wage, if he is unable to perform to the expected standard. I would rather my brother be paid a fair wage based on his performance than be denied employment because he can not meet the expected standard. For his 40 years on this Earth I have been a defender and advocate for my brother whom I love very much. I would never work for a company that exploits individuals with disabilities, in fact I would be holding a sign next to these folks if these allegations were true. The truth is Goodwill does not exploit people with disabilities.

  36. Kim Costanzo says:

    Goodwill is an agency that provides Supported Employment and Adult Day Training and is paid by the state(s) to provide training services to their “clients”. Goodwill is not alone in there practice of paying pennies on the dollar. The other practice that must be addressed is that if a disabled adult is not on Med – Waiver they are turned away altogether and receive no services.

    I am the Director of Frredom Unlimited Now, Inc. DBA Project Free and our promise to our clients and families is to pay minimum wage in our training programs. ” We want to lead by example”. I believe nationwide Goodwill collects over a million five an hour in funding and pays out around $200,000.00 in stipends.

    Project Free is a non – profit fueled by intellictually and developmentally disabled adults, their families, and friends. Our goal is to open the first two secondary programs recoginized by higher education in St. Petersburg Florida and Niantic, Connecticut for the 2013 – 2014 academic school year. Being recoginized by the dept. of higher education allows for financial aide!!

    Students will experience college life and choose from 9 certificate programs that are anchored in life skills and liberal arts. Phase 2 of Project Free is Freedom Village. Our folks will be able to purchase their own condo have the opportunity to choose employment from 60,000 feet of retail. Our vision is to open businesses and not place our clients in meaningless jobs!!!!

    The time is now!! These guys deserve minimum wage, the opportunity to graduate high school with their peers and go on to college where they too can graduate with a marketable degree, purchase a home and share in the American Dream!!!

    Join Project Free and the so many other organizations who believe it is time to raise the bar to include the intellictually disabled adult in the American Dream!!! Toghether we can make it happen!!

    Build the Dream!!
    Kim Costanzo Executive Director Project Free

  37. Amilie says:

    Is the CEO given the productivity drill? Does someone with a stopwatch come ever six months to have him jump through hoops and see how quickly he can perform? Do they change the test arbitrarily (because they CAN and they DO) whenever they feel like paying him less?

    Just because some people with disabilities are happy being treated like trained animals doesn’t mean the vast majority of us wouldn’t be happier being treated like a human being. (There were pro-slavery slaves, after all. And no, it is not disrespectful to compare the two situations; certainly not when the same justifications are being used.)

  38. Jeff Owens says:

    Really? Your defense of all this is the possible loss of Medicaid benefits? Melissa? You said you did your homework… do you also know Goodwill has annual revenue @ $5 Billion? Or that last year the California regional director made $1 million? Some workers are paid as low as 22 CENTS per hour. This is a non profit organization, subsidized in part by tax dollars.

    This is indentured servitude at best; sweat shop wages in reality & I say slavery at its worst.

    I’m sure, Melissa, if you suddenly lost your sight tomorrow you’d think that you were still worth $7.25 an hour.

    Until everyone is equal, no one will be.

  39. Daryl says:

    I’m shocked most of you defend this practice.Less than a dollar an hour?How can you support this?Just because it a law doesn’t make it right.We have a disable child and I know for a fact making dollar or 5 will not mean he loses his ssi benefits or health insurance.Know the fact before you speak.

  40. albendia says:

    Disabled employees can work part-time at minimum wages and still maintain SSI. This is wrong. SSI only pays $1000 per month and after rent, bus fare, food, what I left?

  41. ENRAGED says:

    Goodwill does not offer raises. Period. You can work there 10 days or ten years. NOTHING. They call this “the power of work”. We used to call it “the power of POVERTY”.

    Their CEO’s make MILLIONS of dollars a year. No exploitation going on there…

    Goodwill throws TONS and TONS of perfectly USEABLE GOODS in the DUMPSTER EVERY DAY. At the distribution center I used to work, we would go through about TEN INDUSTRIAL SIZED DUMPSTERS PER DAY FILLED WITH MOSTLY USEABLE GOODS. If the price is too high and nobody wants it, they toss it. They have to keep the price point up. Supply and demand. If an employee is caught “stealing” something from the dumpster or even looking at it too long, they are fired on the spot. After all, the employees are their best customers… ya know, being that they are all living at poverty level for some strange reason…

    Goodwill exploits the handicapped and poor to keep their CEO’s big, fat and greedy. They are one of the DIRTIEST COMPANIES IN CORPORATE AMERICA.

    I know, I worked for them. I saw how they keep their “employees” enslaved.

    My only question is… do people BURN IN HELL for exploiting the poor and disabled?

    Or do they just REINCARNATE into one in their next life?

    Ya’ know, so they can feel what it’s like to be trapped in a life where they work their fingers to the bone, EVERY SINGLE DAY… FOR NOTHING?

  42. tim benett says:

    don’t work for goodwill

  43. Jeff says:

    I am currently employed as a supervisor at a sheltered workshop. We pay 150+disabled individuals to do piece rated work. Many have severe disabilities requiring daily nursing care and specialized transportation. We also do OT, PT and speech therapy. If we were to hire a non-disabled work force we would need 8 employees to do the same amount of work. Why would any agency contract with us if they had to pay 150 disabled workers minimum wage when they could get the same amount done elsewhere by paying 8? Without sub-minimum wage options we’d close the doors. And the salary of some CEO in California means nothing to our budget by the way.

  44. Tracy Thomas says:

    Hi my name Is TracyThomas I’m broadline mildly mentally retarded and I have my own opion about me like me being under paidits quite clear u all that are making these comments don’t really know what is like for people like me u don’t know wat is like to be a broadline mentally retarded mom .who’s gone through something she understand but she don’t u all could never admation we go through just facing everyday challenges anyway and none of u could know what its like to know as child and adult that already we’re treated as not equals by the normal world but than to be wrongful robbed of the only thing some of us have to show that we can honestly say we worked for and the only thing that makes some of us feel normal that’s crazy and it shouldn’t cost us nothing to want be treated fairly I’m Tracy Thomas and I’m (mentally disabled)

  45. Tracy Thomas says:

    So before u all think its all about want we are losing think about what we are gaining and if u don’t understand I’ll explain for us wit disability s our world is drifferent not just on payday our world is drifferent everyday some of us can’t feel see walk or talk or even have emotion and some of us arephysialogly disabilitys to the point where we don’t even know what money is or that is something we can earn so why would some one wit good sense wit nothing wrong wit them at all someone normal pay someone driferent less then what they’ve earned and if the shoe was on the other foot how would u all feel if it was u and our me our medical coverage ain’t all that especially for us who are only mentally challenged. So for some of us working and earning our own money gives endenpendness so why rob us of it haven’t we been robbed of anormal life as it is

  46. Glenn says:

    I went there to earn alittle money and get my self-esteem back. The pennies
    I earned and the lack of help to find a job was humiliating

  47. Tyler says:

    If they make too much money they lose tons of benefits!!! They aren’t working to make a ton of money they are working to make friends keep busy and have a life!!! Anyone that boycotts goodwill must not have a child with a disability and doesn’t know the ins and outs of people with disabilities!! Open your eyes people you read one article and then run with it!!!

  48. Paul Stevens says:

    I have worked with Special Needs adults 2 of whom have part time jobs. No they’re not paid minimum wages but their basic needs, i.e. food, housing and healthcare are paid for. They are not highly productive employees but these 2 are motivated to go to a job as well as their coworkers. They earn enough to know they can buy simple things they want. Without that outlet the industry would suffer more caregiver turnover from burnout as the individuals need an outlet. The system is very fair.
    The abuse is what the Goodwill CEO wage is set at and too much fluff in mid level management in the DD industry.

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