[Nfbmo] FW: [Nfb-legislative-directors] Disability Groups Deliver Petitions to Goodwill (article)

Shelia Wright sbwright95 at att.net
Fri Nov 1 04:23:50 UTC 2013

Thought some of you would be interested in reading one of the articles that
was a result of today's Goodwill action. 



From: Nfb-legislative-directors
[mailto:nfb-legislative-directors-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Sloan,
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2013 1:40 PM
To: Nfb-legislative-directors at nfbnet.org
Subject: [Nfb-legislative-directors] Disability Groups Deliver Petitions to
Goodwill (article)


Hi All:


Good work!  Here is an article about our delivery to Goodwill!  


Here is a link for your convenience.
dwill/  Please feel free to spread via email and social media!




NEW: Disability groups deliver petitions to Goodwill

October 31, 2013
By John Hrabe

- See more at:

Disability advocacy groups throughout the country are planning a sizeable
delivery to Goodwill Industries today. But, instead of secondhand clothing
or gently-used goods, the disability rights groups will be dropping off
thousands of signed petitions from citizens who are demanding that the
nonprofit clean up its labor practices.

More than 100 Goodwill entities nationwide employ workers through the
Special Wage Certificate program, a Depression-era loophole in federal labor
law that allows organizations to pay subminimum wages to people with
disabilities. In May, a
Watchdog.org investigation revealed that these same Goodwill entities that
use the special wage program simultaneously spent $53.7 million in total
executive compensation.

In an effort to increase public awareness of Goodwill's labor practices, the
National Federation of the Blind and Autistic Self Advocacy Network
sponsored a
bled-workers-a-real-wage> Change.org petition, which has gathered more than
170,000 signatures. The organizations will be delivering petitions to
Goodwill headquarters and stores in Sacramento, CA; Providence, RI; New
York, NY; Corpus Christi, TX; Rockville, MD; and Seattle, WA.


"Over 170,000 Americans have joined us in our fight to ensure that workers
with disabilities are paid a fair wage," Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the
National Federation of the Blind, told CalWatchdog.com. "We thank all those
who signed the petition for standing up to Goodwill and urging the retailer
to end its unfair and immoral payment of subminimum wages to disabled

5.html> Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, employers
can apply for a special wage certificate that allows them to hire people
with disabilities at a subminimum wage. Nationally, more than 300,000
workers are subject to the law. Goodwill uses the special minimum wage
exemption to take advantage of 7,300 of its 105,000 employees.

es-less-than-minimum-wage/> California, five organizations use the special
wage certificate: Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley & Northern
Nevada, Goodwill of Silicon Valley, Goodwill Industries of Orange County,
Goodwill Industries of San Diego County and Goodwill Southern California.

Goodwill says that the subminimum wage program is a tool for helping the

"With 80 percent of working age adults with disabilities in our country not
participating in the workforce currently, we believe that it's important to
explore more types of opportunities,"
ml> Brad Turner-Little, the director of mission strategy at Goodwill
International Inc., has repeatedly said in public statements on the issue.
"The special minimum wage certificate is a tool to create employment for
people with disabilities. It's not the only tool."

However, that argument doesn't sit well with petitioners. "This is
disgusting info!" wrote Jeanne Green of Riverside, who signed the petition
and added her own comments. "It is 2013, for Heaven's sake!! WHY hasn't this
OLD-OUTDATED pay scale been challenged before now?"

For some signers, it's more personal. "I have signed the petition as the
proud mother of a son with autism," said Amy Mais, a neighborhood activist,
who has battled
g/> Goodwill's bin bullying tactics in Phoenix.

The organizations hope that the public awareness campaign will increase
support for federal legislation to end the controversial policy. Rep. Gregg
Harper, R-Miss., has introduced the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities
Act of 2013, to close the subminimum wage loophole.

"The 170,000 people who have put their name to this petition show the broad
scope of the outrage against Goodwill's unfair and unethical practice of
paying thousands of disabled workers less than minimum wage," said Ari
Ne'eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, a co-sponsor of
the petition drive. "We urge Goodwill to hear these voices and reconsider
this discriminatory practice."


According to the May 2013 Watchdog.org investigation, Goodwill of Southern
California paid more than $1.1 million in total compensation to its
then-CEO, making him the highest paid Goodwill executive in the country. The
following month, an
-goodwill-story-from-blogger/> NBC investigation of Goodwill repeated the

Last year, CalWatchdog.com first reported that
es-less-than-minimum-wage/> five California-based Goodwill charities pay
hundreds of employees less than minimum wage, while providing lucrative
compensation packages to top executives. While the organization cries poor
when it comes to workers' wages, it has no problem spending money on online
advertisements defending its labor practices.

Earlier this year, Google searches for "Goodwill worker wages," "Goodwill
wages," "Goodwill pay," and "
/> Goodwill disabled," all produced a sponsored ad, paid for by Goodwill, in
the top search result.

- See more at:



Rose Sloan

Government Affairs Specialist


"Eliminating Subminimum Wages for People with Disabilities" 



National Federation of the Blind

200 East Wells St. 

Baltimore, MD 21230

rsloan at nfb.org <mailto:rsloan at nfb.org> 

(410)-659-9314 ext 2441


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