comments_image Comments

$2.75 an Hour?! The Shocking Secret of Goodwill

Goodwill CEOs make over $400,000 a year. But some of its disabled employees are paid less than $3 an hour.
 
 
Share
 

Spreading Christmas 'goodwill’ during the holidays is what Goodwill donation centers claim to be all about. The company sells thousands of donated goods at low prices every year, particuarly around the festive seaon.

In fact, it has almost become part of our culture that when something is not useful to us anymore, we give it to Goodwill.

While part of Goodwill’s mission is also to give people jobs who have disabilities, a recent documentary reveals that the company is exploiting their workers with many legally exempt from minimum wage protection, Upworthy reported.

According to the documentary, in the back rooms of Goodwill stores, disabled workers make far less then the federal wage of $7.25 an hour because of loophole in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Former Goodwill employee, Sheila Leland, who is legally blind, said she had to quit her job at a local Goodwill after her employer reduced her hourly wage from $3.50 to $2.75 per hour.

Such actions perfectly legal, based on the law's assumption that people with disabilities are not as productive as able-bodied individuals.

But advocates such as Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, says such laws are unfair and unethical.

“The sheltered workshop system takes people and systemically tells them they are not as good as the rest of the workforce,” he said.

What's more, there is a huge disparity between what workers are paid and the salaries of their bosses. According to the report, half a dozen of Goodwill CEOs make over $400,000 a year, with Goodwill grossing $5 billion a year.

Such figures have outraged disability activists such as Ari Ne’eman of the  Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), who says that the company obviously has enough money to pay employees a fair, minimum wage.

“It is exploitation. They are able to collect charitable donations and present themselves as doing good work but don't have to do right by their workers,” he said.

Watch the video:

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.

 

 
See more stories tagged with: