Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Sub-Minimum Wage Issue

Post from Forbes.com's Judy Owen, co-founder and chief operating officer of Opportunity Works, Inc. a full service staffing company focused on recruiting people with disabilities.

Recently, NBC’s Rock Center aired a segment about Goodwill Industries paying people with disabilities sub-minimum wage through a loophole in the Fair Labor Standards Act, sometimes as low as $0.22/hr.
I was happy to see a segment like this air on a major network as this is an issue most people don’t even realize exists. Those of us in the disability community have heated debates about this on a regular basis though, as is apparent in the news segment. At my first meeting of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) I sat quietly and watched as two self-advocate Council members had a heated debate about this in 2007. One member was insistent that sheltered workshops should be shut down immediately as they exploited our most vulnerable citizens. The other member worked part-time and went other days to a sheltered workshop himself. He had friends there and felt it was a great use of his time when his part-time employer didn’t schedule him.

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