Goodwill Targeted For Paying Far Below Minimum Wage To Those With Disabilities

Advocates for the disabled say some non-profits discriminate against people with disabilities by paying them far below minimum wage. Those advocates will picket at Goodwill stores in Illinois and across the country tomorrow.

Bill Reif is blind and says his disability did not stop him from having a successful career. He’s retired from working as an attorney for the Attorney General’s Springfield office. He heads an Illinois chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, the organization that’s behind nation-wide pickets. Reif says it’s important all disabled employees be paid at least minimum wage. Otherwise he says…

REIF: “It leaves the employees unable to support themselves other than with government assistance.”

Sharon Durbin oversees Goodwill stores in 33 Illinois counties. She says Goodwill starts paying some disabled employees who are part of their rehab program less than ten cents per hour. But she says Goodwill encourages them to build their skills so they can earn more.

DURBIN: “It’s trying to provide a stipend for somebody who may not otherwise have a job.”

Durbin says the Department of Labor monitors what Goodwill pays its disabled employees.  She says the non-profit has done nothing wrong.

-Rachel Otwell

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