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Old 07-19-2013, 01:37 PM   #1
ReturnofJPR
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Default Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

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One of the nation's best-known charities is paying disabled workers as little as 22 cents an hour, thanks to a 75-year-old legal loophole that critics say needs to be closed.

Goodwill Industries, a multibillion-dollar company whose executives make six-figure salaries, is among the nonprofit groups permitted to pay thousands of disabled workers far less than minimum wage because of a federal law known as Section 14 (c). Labor Department records show that some Goodwill workers in Pennsylvania earned wages as low as 22, 38 and 41 cents per hour in 2011.


http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_n...-and-its-legal

How disturbing is this?!
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

i can't comment on Goodwill Industries in particular, but right now i'm employed at a very similar organization. we pay our 'clients' $2/hr, it was $1 and was only recently doubled like in the last month. it's called a training wage and it's only allowed because we retain a charitable status under the provincial not for profit act... and its because of the work we do.

i know it comes off as slave wages. in reality, organizations like mine (and potentially Goodwill) offer services to people who otherwise would find themselves excluded from the job market. i job coach in a variety store where we teach basic shit like work ethic, math skills, customer service, etc. employees might be just out of high school or they might be in their 50s, they might be cognitively disabled or developmentally delayed for any number of reasons, but the bottom line is the success rate. an amazing percentage of people who stick with the program, like > 90%, move on to a stable job in the private sector.

and fk if you can't actually see as clear as day the progress going on week by week, month by month. it's an amazing process to watch up close. eventually they build up their confidence and their skills to a point where they can move on.... and of course we include a development phase where somebody joins them at the new job for a few weeks to ensure a good transition.


our directors probably make about 50k, but we're much smaller than Goodwill presumably is. i dunno, dont rush to judgment is all i suppose.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

LOL, this is a joke right? Those "workers" as you call them, are not working for the money, it's volunteer work. I mean come on, knowing being paid 22 cents and hour and thinking it's their bread and butter? Get real.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

There should be a law that allow disabled people to be paid less than minimum wage. That is an advantage for them. If they are paid the same wage, why would a company want to employ them? Perhaps out of goodwill or PR only? But other than that? Clearly most of them will have lower skill level than a non disabled person.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

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Originally Posted by Hoodlum Science
LOL, this is a joke right? Those "workers" as you call them, are not working for the money, it's volunteer work. I mean come on, knowing being paid 22 cents and hour and thinking it's their bread and butter? Get real.

Prisoners, in the state of Illinois, make more per hour...despicable!
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

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Originally Posted by iamgine
There should be a law that allow disabled people to be paid less than minimum wage. That is an advantage for them. If they are paid the same wage, why would a company want to employ them? Perhaps out of goodwill or PR only? But other than that? Clearly most of them will have lower skill level than a non disabled person.

Obviously the jobs are lower skill, but that doesn't mean they are only entitled to being payed less than a dollar for an hours work. No job is worth that no matter how little ability it takes. A company needs to employ people to perform tasks, if the task is within the capacity of someone with a disability why shouldn't they want to employ them? And if they do choose to employ them, why should they be allowed to pay them far less than the minimum wage? I can't think of a single job that is worth 22 cents an hour. Sitting in an empty room doing nothing but breathing is worth more than that.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

Shit, entry level workers in Chinese factories get more than that.

Regarding disabled workers, most of them can do most menial jobs at an acceptable level and should be paid accordingly. When I was 15 we had a mentally handicapped dude working the broiler steamer at the BK I worked at. It was monkey work that anyone could do and he did it as well as anyone else and was paid the same.

In Taiwan (where I go for work frequently) a lot of handicapped people have had help from the government who has set up enterprises for them like burn victims operating juice stands in subway stations or the blind offering shoulder and head massages at some shopping malls. It is a small investment but pays great dividends in giving people a sense of worth and accomplishment.

I'd like to see more of this in North America, take away the victim stigma and let them run micro-enterprises.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

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Originally Posted by miller-time
Obviously the jobs are lower skill, but that doesn't mean they are only entitled to being payed less than a dollar for an hours work. No job is worth that no matter how little ability it takes. A company needs to employ people to perform tasks, if the task is within the capacity of someone with a disability why shouldn't they want to employ them? And if they do choose to employ them, why should they be allowed to pay them far less than the minimum wage? I can't think of a single job that is worth 22 cents an hour. Sitting in an empty room doing nothing but breathing is worth more than that.
Because often a non disabled person can do it better and also willing to accept minimum wage. Why should a company hire lower skilled person to the same wage?

Plus, if the disabled person accept it, then why not? Often the job itself is the reward to the disabled person, not the money. And jobs often come with benefits other than wages.

I can think of some. How about wiping the NBA's floor during the game? I don't mind not being paid 22 cents for that.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

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Originally Posted by iamgine
Because often a non disabled person can do it better and also willing to accept minimum wage. Why should a company hire lower skilled person to the same wage?

Plus, if the disabled person accept it, then why not? Often the job itself is the reward to the disabled person, not the money. And jobs often come with benefits other than wages.

I can think of some. How about wiping the NBA's floor during the game? I don't mind not being paid 22 cents for that.

Its not that simple. When you have an easy task performance is not the most important thing, you really only need to get the job done, differences in the performance are pretty much irrelevant.

Things like attitude, punctuality, effort, 'team-playerness' etc.. become more important and someone who is very grateful for the work will score higher in these areas, thus making a disabled person the better hire.

Taking the garbage out is the job and as long as it gets done, that is all that matters, not whether someone can do it in three trips instead of four.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

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Originally Posted by JtotheIzzo
Its not that simple. When you have an easy task performance is not the most important thing, you really only need to get the job done, differences in the performance are pretty much irrelevant.

Things like attitude, punctuality, effort, 'team-playerness' etc.. become more important and someone who is very grateful for the work will score higher in these areas, thus making a disabled person the better hire.

Taking the garbage out is the job and as long as it gets done, that is all that matters, not whether someone can do it in three trips instead of four.
If someone can do it in three trips instead of four, it means they are faster. Thus, they can do more. I don't suppose it matters in slow times but when a McDonald's is busy the non disabled person could work twice as fast and that makes a difference to customer's convenience and store efficiency.
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

No one in the US is working for that wage. A days work is a buck something, get real... as someone mentioned they're doing it voluntarily.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

i can see it if a rich parent sends his disabled son or daughter to work there. it's not like they are expecting them to make any real money, why not keep them busy for a 4-5 hours a day?
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sadly, some disabled workers are paid less than $5/hour

I worked as a nursing aid at a center housing mentally handicapped folk between the ages of 30-90, roughly. These people literally had nothing to do all day besides simple arts and crafts and putting puzzle pieces together. There were tvs in just about every room but most of the residents lacked the comprehension to utilize and value them. Fortunately, the center had a contract with Goodwill allowing those that were capable the opportunity to leave the building each weekday and work at a nearby Goodwill building where they were paid for doing simple tasks. They'd take clothes that were recently donated, and under the assistance/supervision of several job coaches, they would fold, hang and assort the clothes, and from there the clothes were distributed to Goodwill stores. They'd get paid like 8 cents for each folded shirt, 10 cents for hanging a blouse with its matching pants, etc. As a job coach, I didn't feel like they were getting exploited. The tasks they were doing were quite simple, and those that were able to do it fast (there were a few) could easily make a few dollars an hour.

In my estimation, the advantages were that:
1) going to work 8-3 each weekday gave them a sense of purpose, rather than just lounging about idly at the center with nothing to do
2) some were able to rack up quite a bit of many after a few paychecks and buy video games, consoles, tvs, etc to enjoy away from the workplace
3) there was a social element to the workplace. Residents were able to interact with other mentally handicapped people living in different homes throughout the city. They'd see these people everyday and form friendships.
4) Goodwill was a transition of sorts for those who were able to perform their duties like normal people would. From there they were able to search for higher paying jobs.
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