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No, that's not a typo.  Here, in America, they are paying disabled workers 3-4 cents per hour.

I used to donate to Goodwill, but they've just lost all of my good will.

http://investigations.nbcnews.com/...

The previous story, which I had missed, found that because of a legal loophole, they had been paying some workers 22 cents/hour, cutting some of the miserable lower-than-federal-limit wages after they felt their stores weren't profitable enough.
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/...

[quote]Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was passed in 1938, allows employers to obtain special minimum wage certificates from the Department of Labor. The certificates give employers the right to [b]pay disabled workers according to their abilities, with no bottom limit to the wage.[/b][/quote]

And you may be sure that the ones getting the lowest pay are the mentally disabled, who need this kind of job so that they can apply for jobs in grocery stores or other locations where their willingness to do jobs that other workers resent is useful.

Meanwhile, the executives earn six figure salaries.

I am sadly not surprised to find my state, Texas, among the culprits:
[quote]According to Department of Labor filings acquired via the Freedom of Information Act, two Goodwill franchises in Fort Worth, Texas paid 51 employees less than 10 cents an hour in 2011, with 14 earning just four cents an hour for tasks described as “assembly.”[/quote]

I frankly think that the ones who determined that these people were worth three cents per hour should be set to work doing "assembly" and be paid four cents an hour.

...and even then, I feel that's overpayment.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (125+ / 0-)
  •  We need to contact (19+ / 0-)

    The ADA...We could start with Sen Harkin while he is still there and that is violation of the  1990 ADA law.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:20:52 PM PDT

      •  Really ??? (24+ / 0-)

        I must re read...... WOW ,, then we must make the public aware that we have become China....slave labor with our most vulerable.   This is so sad.....Boycotting Goodwil.  

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:47:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you actually read this diary or the link? (7+ / 0-)

          They BOTH explain that this practice is unfortunately legal.

          •  Legal? (7+ / 0-)

            I'm sick of people falling back on the 'It's legal' excuse. It's fucking immoral and the practice needs to be fought and the law changed.

            •  I work in the disability community (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              badscience, annan, Another Grizzle

              The comments I write here are my own and do not necessarily reflect that of my employer.  With that said, I would highly suggest you and other people read up more on the issue before supporting policy decisions that may, in fact, significantly hurt people with disabilities.

              Without the ability to pay people commensurate with their productivity, you will doom millions of people with disabilities to a life with no outlet for a job, a career or the self-esteem that comes along from having a job.  I'll give you a personal story that may illuminate the issue and then we can talk policy if you so desire.

              Non-profit agencies have moved into the secure document destruction business in the last decade.  One of the value added jobs that people with disabilities have been able to do in this line of business is sort the paper according to color.  The goal is to get colored paper out of the stream so that it increases the resale value of a mostly white, shredded bale of paper.

              An experienced paper sorter can sort X amount of paper per time frame.  We purposely selected extremely low functioning people to perform these tasks because many/ most of these people have NEVER been able to be employed before due to their signficant disablities.  On the time studies they are often only 10, 25 or maybe 50 percent as productive as this experienced worker and thus they would get paid 10, 25 or 50 percent of the pay of that worker.

              And you know what?  These people LOVE the job!  Have you ever had a person come up to you, with tears in their eyes and thank you because for the first time in their 35 years of life they were finally able to get a job?  I have.  That is the power of being able to pay sub-minimum wages under 14c.

              I can go on and on about this but the bottom line is that if you eliminate the ability to pay wages commensurate with productivity what you essentially will do is say that, in this crappy labor market, people with disabilities will have to compete with all the other unemployed people.  If you are going to hire a person that can hang 10 pieces of clothes an minute or hire a person that can hang 5 pieces of clothes an minute but you have to pay them both $7.25.  Who are you going to hire?

              That same decision will play out across America and the result is that people with disabilities will be  thrown out of work and they will be deprived of the emotional and mental well being that comes from being like a "normal" person that goes to work everyday.  It's not black and white and so I urge more research and I welcome questions.

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 05:10:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  theotherside, you are making some great (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                annan, Another Grizzle

                points about how the law works and how these workshops provide a unique opportunity for the disabled to work in a culture that values work (almost above everything, to our detriment!)

                There are other commenters here with excellent insights into this issue as well.

                I wish one or more of you would write a diary that sums up and fleshes out the complex issues at hand. I have learned so much from the comments in this diary. One of the sad things I learned is that people really do not understand the depth of issues that the disabled and their families face for their entire lives.

                •  Thanks, I might just write a rebuttal (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  badscience, Another Grizzle

                  I think everyone's outrage is actually great but extremely misguided.  As you know, I work in the field and yet I can hardly consider myself an expert in what people with disabilities have to go through to get the support they need and live their lives.  I work in a not for profit doing the necessary paperwork to help people with disabilities get jobs and I'm stuck in an office, far away from the people I ultimately help.

                  But the Goodwills, the ARCs, the Jewish Vocational Services, etc are all groups outside the government that are on the front line and help people with housing, transportation, and employment.  Some of them are well run.  Some of them aren't but they don't get nearly the resources that they need to effectively help the "least" amongst us.

                  Oh, and one more interesting tidbit about PWD, they, by and large, are much more dedicated to their jobs than us "normal" people.   You don't know how many times I hear of a weather event (Hurricane Sandy, blizzard, ice storm, etc.) where the general population does not make it to work but the people with disabilities on federal contracts make it there despite the conditions and, often times, despite not having personal transportation.  

                  We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                  by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 09:55:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not convinced it is legal (7+ / 0-)

            It says, "according to his abilities".   There should be mathematical ways to demonstrate that the worker would have to be dead in order to have abilities this low.  If you were ringing up items on top of his casket, he'd produce more labor.

            •  It is legal (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marykk, sturunner

              an employer here in NY can pay below minimum wage for "training" the disabled employee. Now, whether there is a time limit to that "training period", I am not sure.

              Lev.19:
              13 Thou shalt not oppress thy neighbour, nor rob him; the wages of a hired servant shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

              Malachai 3:5
              "…and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the LORD of hosts."

              Jerimiah 22:13
              Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by injustice; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not his hire;

              Even during the reign of Bronze Age Dieties, cheating the worker out his wage was considered an evil.

              "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

              by theRoaringGirl on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:53:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Where did Vetwife say that it was illegal? n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vetwife

            It turns out that the skill set required to get elected is completely different than the skill set required to effectively govern.

            by VictorLaszlo on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 03:25:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  you must've meant to reply to someone (8+ / 0-)

          else, because I didn't say anything about it being ok.

          either that or you're just sort of a prick.

        •  Of course he is (19+ / 0-)

          Why should they get paid like they were normal human beings? They might get self esteem if they were paid what they were worth, and who knows where that might lead? The next thing you know they will have money to shop with and your family might have to see they exist.

          •  Horace, idealistically I would love to see my (12+ / 0-)

            child "get paid like they were normal human beings" someday.

            The reality is that unless a miracle occurs, this will never happen, to the extent that my child could ever be financially self sufficient.

            Instead, my child will of necessity rely on SSI for life.  

            SSI that can be decreased or dropped if earnings, cash, assets increase in any given month.

            SSI that automatically entitles one for Medicaid if one receives even $1 of SSI benefits.

            Medicaid that will pay for the many specialists & procedures in my child's life & the (currently) over $700 a month in prescription medications.

            Medicaid that would go away if SSI was dropped due to an increase in assets from any source.

            Instead, I will settle for a society that recognizes that my child is a human being.  

            And an expansion of critical services such as those provided by the Goodwills of the world for those who do not nor will ever have the abilities required to be independently self sufficient.

        •  Do you want to fix the problem? (8+ / 0-)

          Because if you do, you need to understand that there is a law on the books that currently makes this a legal practice.

          Goodwill is in my opinion abusing their privilege, but what would really protect these workers is a better law.

          People aren't bothering to read the diary or the associated link to the NBC Story which is titled:

          "Disabled workers paid just pennies an hour – and it's legal"

          •  The fix would mean all those people would (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Va1kyrie, worldlotus, RNinNC, MGross

            not have a job.  

            Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

            by thestructureguy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:16:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And what fix would that be, (5+ / 0-)

              that would render even more unemployment? Serious question...

              This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

              by lunachickie on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:21:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They will stop hiring the disabled that can not (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus, bkamr, RNinNC

                do the work for the minimum wage. The folks that are let go will never be in the normal work force.  Some can only do maybe one function of the job in an hour if that.  The disabled that can do the work are paid at least the minimum wage.

                Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

                by thestructureguy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:25:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What minimum wage did you have in mind? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Miggles, bleeding blue, JesseCW
                  do the work for the minimum wage
                  •  Whatever the minimum wage is that applies to (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lujane, Sparhawk, worldlotus, RNinNC

                    the location.  Do you really think Goodwill would or could pay someone to hang one article of clothing per hour at the prevailing minimum wage? No they'd hire someone that can do the normal job functions and that person could have a disability as some that make the minimum do at Goodwill.

                    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

                    by thestructureguy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:36:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You just argued against any minimum wage at (7+ / 0-)

                      at.

                      Your arguments are identical to those being advanced by the Republican extremists in the House who want to abolish it.

                      "More people will have jobs if we get rid of the minimum wage" and "But, those people aren't WORTH IT".

                      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                      by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:05:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  This is unacceptable. (7+ / 0-)

                      If you want to encourage people with disabilities to volunteer, fine. They hang that one article of clothing in an hour, then praise them and thank them for volunteering. But don't you dare pay them three cents an hour and call it a job. That is humiliating. Not to mention the company probably gets a tax break for hiring this employee they're paying a buck a week to.

                      And let's not forget that it's even a cash loss to the government. We pay people to act as representative payees to this population, which includes doing paperwork. We pay people who do that work around $12-15 an hour, and their caseloads are too big to handle the needs of every client. And we want them spending 15-20 minutes each week, per client, sending wage reports of a dollar to the local Social Security office, who pays another overworked employee to put that data into the computer?

                    •  That's an important question (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Naniboujou, zed, Kimbeaux, AaronInSanDiego


                      Does the worker truly only hang one article of clothing per hour?    If so, then it might be a fair wage.   How many articles can an able-bodied person hang? And there's the ratio for determining wage.  I calculate the worker who is paid $.22 is producing approximately 1.8 minutes of labor per hour.

                      Hats off to Goodwill if they are truly employing persons disabled to this degree.    If they are employing people who produce more labor than this, however, and are not paying them for it, then they are preying on the weak and the vulnerable, while making money off their claims that they are "helping" them, and that would be reprehensible.

                      •  They are but as the articles suggest (4+ / 0-)

                        the people that are that low functioning are really rather rare.

                        I work in the industry and the average productivity in many lines of business (food service, laundry, grounds maintenance, etc.) are typically in the 75 to 80 percent range.  In the packaging industry the productivity ratings typically go much lower.  For example, let's say you need to put ten bolts into a bag.  The typical person would count ten bolts out of a big box and put them into the bag.  A person with a learning disability may not be able to count and so what they do is pull the bolts out of the box and place them on a board that has ten circles on it.  They put one bolt in each circle and then when they have all the circles filled they put the ten bolts in a bag.

                        Some people with disabilities can get quite good at it and have a very high productivity.  Some people with disabilities will have very low productivity ratings.  If you want to say we should eliminate the people with the most severe disabilities from being able to be "normal" and have a job, then let's eliminate 14c.  Then let's decide where we should put these people because they are no longer allowed on the work floor of a non-profit employer.  Where they gain self-esteem and pride.  Where they meet friends and have a good time.

                        (PS I have to state this, I work in the industry and the views here are my own and not necessarily my employers.)

                        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                        by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 05:30:43 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  These types of work places (0+ / 0-)

                      and I mean the one's that hire the disabled and are advertising this fact to get customers, should not be for profits.  It is immoral and basically cheating to make money off of labor that is decided to be worth 3 cents an hour. If it is beneficial to the disabled to have work and the enterprise can't pay full market price for that work then the CEO shouldn't be making millions.  If the work is valuable only to the worker and the wages don't matter it should be run as a non profit with the profit going back into the programs.  There outta be a law.

                      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

                      by tobendaro on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 05:40:22 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Well? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW, Lujane, Mr Robert, Vetwife

                  If you can't do the work, why are you being paid at all?

                  I'm sure there are those disabled who think this is all great and it is good for them to get out (and all the other pluses enumerated here--I really do see some of them.) but the justification that none of them will work? Would they have worked without this opportunity? No, probably not, if they're that severely disabled. But something about this pay rate seems really off. On a certain level it seems exploitative of the disabled. On another level, it seems as if the other staff (the "not disabled") are caretakers of sorts, and that's not easy, nor is it fair to expect that of them.

                   

                  This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                  by lunachickie on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:32:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  These folks are not enriching the fat cats (6+ / 0-)

                    by doing piece work that a non-disabled person would be doing.  These aren't sweat shops turning out hundreds of articles of clothing an hour.  

                    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

                    by thestructureguy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:40:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I sure as hell hope not (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JesseCW

                      but that really wasn't much point of mine (though I do see others making it).

                      My only question remaining has to do with the non-disabled charged with supervising these disabled employees. Are they compelled to do it whether they want to or not? There's a caretaking element there that, for the severely disabled, is just not something everyone can do, or be expected to do as part of their own job duties.

                      I would hope that is voluntary...

                      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                      by lunachickie on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:54:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  lunachick, an outside job coach typically provides (7+ / 0-)

                        training & supervision.  The population of those with DD/ID that "work" at Goodwill & other businesses are not just dropped off or handed over to the business to supervise.

                        A lot goes into the entire employment scenario for those with DD/ID.

                        Those that have the abilities & have been carefully job coached/trained can & do work alone with a company employee providing supervision.

                        These are the success stories & the individual, the company employing the individual & the long line of others that made it happen should only be commended.

                        •  Would it be possible for you (worldlotus) to (5+ / 0-)

                          outline specifically what benefits the disabled employees get through a job at Goodwill? From reading a few of your comments, my takeaway is this:

                          • disabled workers are supervised, trained and coached in their jobs, and perhaps derive other benefits through employment that are labor-intensive from the employer's end

                          • many? all? of these disabled workers are not employable in outside of this kind of highly-structured, mentored environment, or at least need this environment as a stepping-stone to other jobs.

                          • many? all? of these disabled workers need SSI and are unlikely to be financially independent, and their SSI benefits are reduced according to the wages they receive.

                          To me, this seems more like "social services" and less like "employment" in that the worker receives benefits beyond pay. I'm not making excuses for Goodwill but feel like I need to be better informed.

                          •  You summed things up pretty well! (8+ / 0-)

                            The 5 person group home I helped supervise required 2 employees in the house at all times except the hours from 11P to 6A when there was 1 person. Two full time employees drove our 5 folks to their job every morning and oversaw their work over a six hour day.

                            Three of our residents had frequent violent outbursts, including throwing furniture and attacking other residents or supervisors. One had severe physical limitations and could not generally do much with his hands. Another had a seizure disorder that sometimes left her asleep for hours at a time.

                            These disabilities were managed with full time staff, including nurses and doctors. The work these residents were able to produce was NOT the point! These were normalizing experiences, with the stated goal being that each may someday achieve some higher level of independence. For most, this wasn't actually ever going to happen.

                            I understand that it sounds harsh to pay a worker 3 cents an hour, but I had residents who physically and mentally COULDN'T hang a shirt. Those of us who worked with and cared for AND about these disabled people were the ones being minimally compensated for our efforts.

                            "Why you gotta act like you know when you don't know?" - Ben Folds

                            by RNinNC on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 07:28:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            badscience, worldlotus, RNinNC

                            for giving that perspective.

                            I think many are reacting viscerally to the idea of someone getting paid cents per hour.  It seems very demeaning and exploitative on the surface.

                          •  RNinNC-YES!-this is one area the focus should be: (4+ / 0-)
                            Those of us who worked with and cared for AND about these disabled people were the ones being minimally compensated for our efforts.
                            Service providers-across the board-are compensated poorly for the workload they experience.  Which in turn creates high turn over and/or shortages.   Which in turn leaves too many of our most vulnerable individuals in precarious or waitlist situations.

                            Outrage & action should be re-focused to the critical needs in each state with regard to the funding, state spending, services for those with MH/DD/ID disabilities.

                    •  Yes, mega-nons ARE sweatshops ... (0+ / 0-)

                      Take a look at the website Guidestar and then do some math. You will find these mega-nons are raking in the dough using low wage and sometimes no-wage workers. They take in on the average of $57,000-$64,000 per client and give around $2000 in direct services to that client.  Nobody wants to ask where the other $55,000-$62,000 goes. This is not only the disabled they exploit but it is a HUGE business to use slave labor and WAY under minimum wage work for the poor who are not disabled as well. Just take a look at ONE mega-nonprofit in your area ~ keeping in mind they actually hide a lot of financial information, but the information you can find is at least a beginning.  http://www.guidestar.org/

                      It is important to accept that poverty is an institution it is not a "choice". What is an "Institution? Here is a Websters definition:

                      a well-established and structured pattern of behavior or of relationships that is accepted as a fundamental part of a culture, as marriage: the institution of the family.

                      any established law, custom, etc.

                      The reason institutions exist in spite of the misery they cause is because they benefit somebody. So to try to destroy or even make changes in this institution makes the beneficiaries angry and they will do all they can to keep it in place. The Poverty Institution exists because it is based upon racism, sexism (including LGBTQ), ageism, and disabilities. Unlike the illegality of discriminating against any of these "isms", it is perfectly legal to discriminate against anybody who is poor. Therefore to discriminate against the poor it can be said that the discrimination did not occur because the person is any of those 'isms" but because they are poor. This is important because now it can keep ALL people in poverty just where they are and does not allow any way out since in essence they are now "merchandise" to be exploited as all those other "isms" USED to be exploited.

                      The Institution of Poverty provides tax breaks for the upper classes, employment as "gatekeepers" for the middle class, and jobs for the poor who get thrown the crumbs left over. Since poverty permeates pretty much any part of our economy, it is not just one thing, it is a combination of things that keep the poor in place in order to benefit the upper classes. It is a ridiculous notion that people "choose" to live in poverty. Those who are poor are caught in this spider's web and while millions struggle within this sticky web firmly embedded in their communities, it is for the most part inescapable, in spite of the glowing stories you hear of the few that do escape.

                      First of all I want to say that SMALL non-profits are the ones doing the REAL work on the ground. They usually get nothing, nada from the government for this work and live from quarter to quarter on small grants and donations. They do the work that 10 case managers can do and often operate on a budget that is less than what ONE mega-non or government office manager makes. No rich person wants to give to a small non, which is full of the poor and people who are disenfranchised, minimized by even the "progressive" upper income who secretly detest and blame the poor because they believe that they themselves are not participating in this Institution of Poverty but instead prefer to believe the poor "choose" to be poor.

                      Small nons do not have access to those fancy fund raisers or influential politicians. Unless these donors can tie strings to what they give that allows them to micro-manage the organization while not giving a damn as to what the actual mission of the small non might be. The problem with this is that often the mission of a small non, which really does the work, would be corrupted should any wealthy or government try to impose their criteria. Unlike the people who actually LIVE poverty who have definite ideas about how poverty needs to be addressed, even progressives who are upper class  have little or no understanding about what would REALLY help the poor and they do not WANT to know what would really help since they themselves benefit and maintain their own class status from the Institution of Poverty.

                      Not only are mega-nons making huge profits on the merchandise they sell as well as getting cash donations, but they also get government money to allocate "services" such as managing child care funding. They often "employ" slave labor such as "being so generous" as to give a "job" to a welfare mother who works for free while they get government funding for "being so nice".  This welfare mom is "employed" there for reasons such as because the economy is depressed where she lives and so the way to make sure she works is to turn to this employment so she can "work off her welfare" at around 25 cents an hour.  Since this mother is a "volunteer" they do not have to observe silly things like labor laws and can force her to work for 8-12 hours on her feet without a break and without any pay alongside paid workers doing the same work. Oh and by the way, now for profit corporations also get this government funding for "being so nice" as to benefit from this free work

                      These mega-nons are punitive and very restrictive with their services. The client is automatically a liar and has to "prove" they need these services with the demand for original documents and papers that is exemplified in homeless families who have difficulty keeping due to their inability to have anywhere to safely store them. They can refuse to serve people such as refusal of services to non-Christians ~ AFTER getting government funding to do so. They demand almost impossible criteria in order for the client to get the services they desperately need while knowing that the "services" they MIGHT eventually give, is minimal at most. I am not making this up to tell you that in my community it is a paperwork nightmare to apply for the food bank that supposedly supplements the already too little food stamps with their completely donated food and the application process is WORSE than it is to apply for the food stamps. I knew the woman who invented food banks and let me tall you, I am sure she is sad about what has come to be.

                      The tax-deductible "donations" and "foundations" that the rich contribute to are merely a Cayman Islands for them as tax shelters, they do not really give up much because it protects their $Millions to  keep. Furthermore it "employs" relatives, friends, and bored spouses in 6 figure "jobs" as Executive Directors and board members who schmooze with politicians and other rich people at expensive "fund raisers" in order to keep the money flowing . Nowadays the mega "non-profit" is in essence a business that does not pay taxes (as if large corporations pay any taxes either). It is all about "growing" and making more and more, to hell with whatever their original  "mission" might have been.

                      Mega-non CEOs are well paid usually making incomes in the 6 figures while their workers are starving. Often the CEO is a relative or bored spouse of a wealthy donor. If you visit these places you can literally take a "stairway to heaven": On the 1rst floor is where the low paid workers reside with the broken furniture and equipment.  You ascend to the upper floors and the working conditions improve,  where the case managers work, the furniture is a little better and the equipment works. Continuing on you reach where the accountants and "professional" staff work and the surroundings are much nicer. By the time you reach the top floor you will find the expensive furniture, new equipment with original art and opulent surroundings.

                      One time a friend who was the son of an executive for the Christian organization called World Concern who was also a Standard Oil heiress, asked her why it was that her office contained such expensive furniture and art, when their "mission" was to "help the poor little African children". He knew that as a millionaire, who could easily afford it herself, she traveled extensively around the world and the U.S at their expense, maintained a nice little expense account that paid for almost all her necessities, as well as gave her a generous bundle of benefits and goodies. Most of the low waged staff there doing the work on the ground can barely make their rent while she had this nice gig. He wanted to know why that money was not going to their supposed mission instead of the opulence he observed. He pointed out that Jesus had said to "sell all you have, give it to the poor and THEN follow him", not live like that while pretending she was "doing the work of Jesus". She was outraged and told him that not only was he the "devil incarnate" for asking such a question, he just did not know that in order to get other wealthy donors to donate, they HAD to have those nice surroundings and executive demeanor. Of course she lets this disabled son live in utter poverty while she plans to give away her $Millions away to mega-nons like this. So taking care of her own family is not of importance, while giving it all away in order for more like herself to benefit, is a priority. Okee-dokey ...

                      This heiress's who SAYS she loves God so much who is outraged at the thought of actually DOING what her prophet said to do, is a prime example about how she does not see her own hypocrisy as a supposed Christian and her response was not really an answer IMO. It is not just about the disabled that she and her rich cohorts can exploit, these laws also say these mega-nons can exploit anybody who is poor. But then almost ALL mega-nons will tell you the same about their own missions where they pretend they are "helping the wittle baybees" when in fact they use the Institute of Poverty in order to exploit the poor which inclides the "ism" of being disabled for their own profit.

                      My two cents,

                      Cat in Seattle
                      Board member of a small non that is doing the REAL work on the ground

                      First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

                      by mntleo2 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:49:41 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Are you including Goodwill in specific critique (3+ / 0-)

                        of your comment?

                        You'll notice on Guidestar that each of the local Goodwills files its paperwork independently (they are part of one parent org but are functioning separately, as far as I can see).

                        Goodwill says it spends upwards of 80% of its earned revenue on its jobs program. Don't know how the cash donations factor into that (not earned revenue?).

                        This is not a defense of Goodwill but in reading comments from people who are disabled themselves, who work with Goodwill or who have severely disabled adults in their family, I don't think that "slave labor" fits into the equation.

                        •  I was speaking of mega-nons in general but ... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...Goodwill is certainly included among them! There is simply not enough wonk work being done to expose them for what they are.

                          In WI they were caught by a bunch of welfare moms who went undercover and took photos of an $80,000 party they threw for themselves out of government funding in order to pat themselves on the backs for how "wonderful" they were. Consequently the legislators took this money away for committing fraud. It should be noted that nobody would have known about this except for the work of UNPAID women who were being treated as if they were thieves simply for needing childcare so they could work those McJobs that the state of WI requires them to do. This is not just WI mega-nons who are doing this, this is in every state, it is just not being noted. Goodwill is in every state, you think they do things any different anywhere else? Dream on!

                          Furthermore, Goodwill, along with many other mega-nons DO use forced unpaid labor, as I state, it is a matter of state records and right there in your state codes. Undermining ALL paid work is welfare-to-work replacing good union jobs because they use people "working off their welfare" at less than 50 cents an hour that the organization does not pay a red cent toward but get lots of rewards for "hiring" unpaid workers. Why hire anybody for pay when you can get them for free and rake even MORE profit in?  Now for-profit corporations get this funding to "be so nice" as to make people work for them for free too without having to observe any labor laws.

                          They pay wonks nice wages who simply refuse to take one look at these people, so it has been up to the citizens to do the work for them FOR FREE. Otherwise you would have not had to write about what is and what is not "slave labor".

                          I can tell you as an advocate for low income moms who are forced into this work where they are treated like dirt and where they get little services, that I have seen first hand what these mega-nons do.  I advocate for more citizens to take a close look at mega-nons and call for better laws because otherwise people think these organizations are doing something good when in fact about the greatest "good" they do is employ the upper classes to be gatekeepers for the poor in order to ensure that the poor are controlled and it does absolutely nothing to end poverty ~ indeed it just ADDS to the conditions of poverty. If they truly wanted to stop poverty, there are other ways to do it ~ and one of them is to not work in union with the government to impose the conditions of unpaid labor that not only hurts low income families, but undermines the entire workforce!!!!!

                          Cat in Seattle

                          First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

                          by mntleo2 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:51:08 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  I have been to Goodwill (0+ / 0-)

                    in my town frequently.  I have never seen a disabled person doing very slow work.  Everyone is bustling around and none even looks disabled although that is not to say they aren't.  When I found out that Goodwill is privately owned and is basically a scam I stopped going.

                    Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

                    by tobendaro on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 05:44:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Goodwill's aren't privately owned (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      badscience, annan, Another Grizzle

                      Please research and retract your statement.

                      They are locally run but they are 501 c 3 corporations, which mean they are non-profits.  I used to work at a Goodwill and they typically have higher functioning people employed as cashiers and front line people.  The back areas where all the donated goods are sorted, clothes cleaned, and hung on hangers, are usually performed by lower functioning people.  With that said, because Goodwill's are a type of franchise and are locally run, and so you have a wide variety of models.

                      Finally, there is a point about high executive pay at non-profits.  Some Goodwills (and other non-profit agencies that employ large numbers of people with disabilities) can have literally thousands of employees.  The President's of these large ones can make a half a million dollars to a million dollars in total compensation.  

                      Personally, I'm of two minds on this.  One is that it doesn't seem right and the pay should be restricted some how.  On the other hand, find organizations/corporations out in the private sector that also have thousands of employees and what you'll see is that the total compensation for their executives are significantly higher.

                      Anyway, it's not entirely black and white to me but I do support the concept of limiting total compensation to the execs of non-profit agencies but it has to be done after careful consideration.

                      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                      by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 05:45:45 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No retraction (0+ / 0-)

                        because there are people getting wealthy off the donations of people and they aren't giving back as a charity.  I feel that Goodwill is a scam.  There are plenty of other options.

                        Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

                        by tobendaro on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 03:45:26 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  I get that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tommymet

                  I understand that a small percentage of those hired cannot actually perform all the "required" duties of the job and so are paid less than minimum wage.

                  I can maybe, just maybe, wrap my head around being ok with that if it were a bit less than minimum wage for a set amount of time (like a true training period).  But paying someone 4 cents an hour?  That's just fucking demeaning.  

                  •  I understand that feeling (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    badscience, annan, Another Grizzle

                    but see if you can go to one of the non-profit agencies that actually employ the most significantly disabled and get a tour.  Believe me, a person that makes 4 cents per hour has NO concept of money.  They are most likely on full disability and live in a group home.  

                    The employer may be receiving state money to provide day programs for them and they may also provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to do "work".  The employers and non-profits that provide these environments for these people are awesome and should be praised, not castigated.  And, while I can't say for sure, the person making 4 cents an hour is likely a net cost for the agency given all the supports they need to provide and the fact that that person is essentially not doing any useful work whatsoever.  

                    But money isn't exactly the point of providing an outlet for people with disabilities to feel more "normal" by allowing them an opportunity to have a "job".

                    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                    by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 05:54:56 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  They get paid less than it costs them to get to (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Naniboujou, PhilJD

                and from work. What exactly is the point of employment if you can't afford so much as a pack of bubblegum at the end of the month? Seriously, are we so condescending to the disabled that we think any jobs are a gift to them, even if those jobs cost them more than they make?

                •  I hope you have read the comments (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  worldlotus, Sparhawk, theotherside, annan

                  from people who are disabled, who work with the disabled, or who have disabled family members. They will answer this question for you. "Condescension" isn't one of their answers.

                •  It sounds like you are relatively new to the (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  annan, Another Grizzle

                  disabled community and so, on the one hand, I love the passion in support of people with disabilities.  On the other hand, passion without knowledge of the situation can actually hurt people with disabilities.

                  The most significantly disabled often live in group homes and they are given free transportation to the work site (paid for through the state).  They are on disability and so have about $1,100 per month coming in whether they work or not.  

                  If they earn too much they get their benefits cut, so many work only 10 to 20 hours a week.  

                  Some can get quite good a certain tasks and they could be moved to employers out in the community.  Others are very low functioning and will never be able to be as productive as their non-disabled counterparts.  Regardless, the non-profit agencies that employ them give them a great outlet to get trained in a supportive environment, to get socialized and to feel the pride of having a job (which many never had).  

                  I strongly support people with disabilities and strong support 14 c (the legislation that allows commensurate wages based on productivity).  To be sure, it can be abused and we must be vigilant against that.  But eliminating 14c and essentially eliminating the opportunity for jobs for people with signficant disabilities isn't the way to go, IMO.

                  (PS I work in the disability community and my employer makes me state that the views expressed here are my own and not necessarily that of my employer)

                  We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                  by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:08:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Not true. (12+ / 0-)

              The fact that Goodwill might be able to create a safe and productive environment in which disabled people might work and build skills is of value, but that doesn't mean that those people who work for the organization should be earning pennies per hour as if it were 1938.

              The situation could be much improved in my opinion.

              •  Do you really think Goodwill could or would pay (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus

                someone to hang one article of clothing an hour the minimum wage?

                Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

                by thestructureguy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:30:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The Goodwill might not have articles of (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  concernedamerican, tobendaro

                  clothing to hang on hangers if they did not have the goodwill and trust of the public from whom they get their donations.

                  Without the donations, they have nothing to sort or sell.

                  Unfortunately, they've given up part of their original mission which used to include teaching the disabled to make repairs and to refurbish the donated items they sell for profit.

                  It is a for profit organization, just so you know.

                  •  It's now a disposible world, both appliances and (0+ / 0-)

                    people.  In many cases, it is impossible/impractical to repair an article/device.  They no longer take non-functioning electronic devices and they don't want old computers because they are worse than worthless.  I can see that if they did pay a person a higher wage, that person might reach a limit on SSI and Medicaid, resulting in less benefits, not more.  But I also think that there could be something that these people can feel self-worth beyond a few measly dollars.  Maybe they could get a health care savings account that would help them pay for needed prescriptions or whatever they might need that might make their money they do get in SSI, food stamps, etc go farther.  Maybe they could receive a complimentary lunch that magically doesn't appear as a form of income.  Anything would be better than getting $0.03/hr.  That must make them feel more worthless than if they were doing volunteer work.  

                    "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

                    by dangoch on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 11:51:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  dangoch, one must look at the situation of the (4+ / 0-)

                      individual living with significant disabilities with different eyes than one is accustomed to.

                      Maybe they could get a health care savings account that would help them pay for needed prescriptions or whatever they might need that might make their money they do get in SSI, food stamps, etc go farther.
                      Due to rules in place by the SSA & food stamp program, monies in a savings account are considered an asset.  Insanely, this could mean a denial of benefits for anyone-not just those living with disability.

                      I will use my own family as a hypothetical example to further understandings.

                      As a parent of a being born with significant disabilities, I cannot leave my child any assets when I croak.

                      My child cannot be left an inheritance from others or gifted with monies above a certain dollar amount.

                      My child is allowed to possess a burial plot or be a recipient of a life insurance only in a specified dollar amount.

                      There are more rules but these examples provide a bird's eye overview of the constraints placed upon those being accepted to receive or are receiving SSI.

                      Most parents of a child with disabilities are not aware of these & other rules.  The parents of a new born with disabilities or who have suffered a TBI or other significant handicapping experience are not thinking about long term future planning nor what medicaid or SSI is.  

                      They are trying to cope; to survive, to alter.  All of which will continue for the rest of their lives.

                      In order to provide for my adult child's lifetime after I croak, a special needs trust fund must be established in such a way as to have no impact on any SSI or other governmental benefits.

                      Not a savings account or a bond or a CD or an account dedicated to health issues.

                      Now, think about the individual living solely on SSI & uses medicaid (automatically enrolled if receives SSI).  Let's say that the max benefit from SSI is $700 a month.

                      With monthly room & board, utilities, premiums for dental insurance, perhaps incontinence supplies & OTC meds, where exactly is the wiggle room for a savings account?  Eventually, my child will be elderly & qualify for Medicare-which has co-pays & premiums.

                      Then the Catch 22 being that if there is a savings account established, the SSI monthly monies is reduced or dropped.

                      I did not know about the SSI "rules" until recently when my significantly disabled child became 18.  Sigh.

                      Considered an adult at the age of 18 & by virtue of being born with a SSI approved disability, we applied in order to receive medical coverage for my child through medicaid.  

                      Understand that since birth no insurance-health or life- would provide coverage for our child.  Our income was too high to be eligible for medicaid.  

                      Fortunately, our state had opted into the federal Katie Beckett Deeming Waiver which we qualified for.  The waiver ends at age 18 so application for medicaid is done based only on income/criteria of the 18 year old with disabilities..  SSI application is required; if approved then medicaid is automatic.

                      Now, along with going to court to become guardian for our own child, we must also find & secure the services of an attorney who specializes in special needs in order to provide some protections for our child's lifetime and death event.  

                      In the meantime, we must take great care to insure that no assets are in place that is above what is approved or risk losing medicaid because SSI was dropped.  

                      We cannot afford the over $700 monthly RX & multiple medical specialists without medicaid.  Nor would my child if able to actually earn an income to pay for medical expenses.  

                      Without medications & medical interventions, my child would die.  Die in unpleasant, painful & frightening ways.

                      Without SSI, my child will have zero monies to live on til end of life once we croak.

                      This is the scenario that I assume also affect those without disabilities who receive SSDI or SSI benefits.

                    •  I know it's difficult for the non-disabled (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Another Grizzle

                      to understand, but a person making $.03/hr has NO concept of money.  These are the most significantly mentally disabled people that likely have significant physical disabilities as well.  In general, they are not very good candidates for employment and they should definitely not be made to work.  With that said, if you can discern if it is their interest to continue working at their job, and they answer "yes", then we, as a society, should create those opportunities for them.

                      And, just to be clear, a person making $.03/hr is most likely drawing full disability payments, which, IIRC, are about $1,100 per month and are likely working less than 4 hours a day.  If they are not receiving full disability and are working more than 4 hours a day, I would really want to know why because that would raise a red flag, IMO.

                      (These views are my own and not my employer)

                      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                      by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:21:52 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Emphatically NOT! (0+ / 0-)

                    Goodwill's are 501 c 3 organizations.  They are non-profits.  That is why you can donate to them and receive a tax deduction.  Please correct your statement as it is just plain wrong.

                    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                    by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:11:46 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Depends on whether the individual with disability (7+ / 0-)

                relies on SSI.

                There is a lot more to consider than the wages of those discussed in the article.

                I am not clear what the article hoped to accomplish as it left out too many details-important details-that serves no one.

            •  No, not at all. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              second gen, JesseCW, PhilJD
              The fix would mean all those people would not have a job.
              Pennies an hour is a job?  Really?  Do tell.
              •  They can not perform the normal functions (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus, Sparhawk

                of the job that justifies minimum wage. Goodwill would let go multiple disabled workers and hire workers that can do the job tasks.  That could include the disabled as some are paid now at or above the minimum wage.  

                Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

                by thestructureguy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:28:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's exactly the argument advanced by (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Eddie in ME, tobendaro

                  those who would like to pay any class of worker less than minimum wage.

                  "They're not worth it".

                  Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                  by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:07:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And the way you figure out... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Va1kyrie

                    ...if they are telling the truth is to ask the question "if minimum wage was increased, what would happen to the workers in question?"

                    At McDonalds, most or all would keep their jobs.

                    However, likely every single one of these disabled Goodwill workers would be gone.

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 10:46:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  So is this how they assuage their guilt? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tobendaro, PhilJD, dfarrah

                  Because it certainly sounds like a rationalization.

                  "But we're paying them SOMETHING. Aren't we being charitable?"

                  Bullshit.

                  Goodwill could have as its mission hiring disabled workers AND paying them decently. The company could have as its mission to preferentially hire disabled workers.  And yes, the fat cat corporate officers at Goodwill take pay cuts to offset the pay raises. Now THAT is charity.

                  "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

                  by JWK on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:38:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly. This law actually protects them. (nt) (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CS in AZ, Va1kyrie, Diogenes2008
            •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)

              This is a complex issue and people here are reacting very negatively to people with disabilties being paid extremely low wages.  I understand that.

              But 14c allows many of the people with the most significant disabilities to be employed.  Eliminate 14c and you eliminate their ability to be hired.

              I am a strong supporter of people with disabilities and I'm equally strong about supporting 14c and the ability for some employers to pay sub-minimum wages.

              (FWIW, I work in the disability community and the views here are my own and not necessarily those of my employer.)

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 05:17:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I know. A law that is 75 years old. (6+ / 0-)

            I read it in the diary and I followed the link and read that.

            Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was passed in 1938....
            Just because it's "legal" doesn't make it right.  History has taught us that.  Ya know?
            •  It's a law that was passed at a time when (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice, tobendaro, PhilJD

              severely disabled people without families to care with them got dumped in work houses.

              It's a law from a time when those people sadly would have been left to roam the streets if someone wasn't able to make a profit from their labor.

              It reflects the view of the disabled that prevailed in that era.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:08:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is more complicated than that. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PhilJD

                In fact, Goodwill used to invest more in its workers so the low wages might have been offset by real and valuable investments into the disabled workers.  I don't know exactly where the company is now on their investment vs. the wages other than to say that cents per hour is a ridiculously low wage compared to the cost of living in this era - as opposed to 1938 - a time when pennies were "real money".

                I do not think that Goodwill provides housing for disabled people and I know that the skill teaching has been pared back.  That, to me, would mean that they should be paying more now because they are not paying the people in other ways that they once did.

                It was a good idea in 1938 and could be a good idea in 2013, but the whole model would need to be updated to take into consideration the lack of social safety net that disabled people face more than ever, now.

                Did you read about the nationwide sting where they recovered more than 100 children who had been captured in the sexual slavery industry?  Did you see the article within the last few days that said that most of the children who were recovered may end up in juvenile detention because the authorities can't figure out any other place to put them?  Do you know what that is?  That is because the US no longer supports mental health and professional child services institutions.  That's one great example of Reagan's legacy in shutting down mental health facilities which used to include homes for mentally disabled people.  Now a huge number of those people live largely unprotected and unguarded and end up in jail - for too many end up on death row, too.

                It is a real problem on so many levels.

                •  Law still protects them. This: (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bkamr, CS in AZ, badscience, guyeda
                  It was a good idea in 1938 and could be a good idea in 2013, but the whole model would need to be updated to take into consideration the lack of social safety net that disabled people face more than ever, now
                  .

                  The particular disability population that places such as Goodwill serves relies on SSI.  The law allows their SSI benefits to be protected because any asset, income, cash an individual has at any given moment affects the amount of SSI benefit or whether SSI is awarded.

                  It is a lot more complicated than that article outlined.

                  Places like Goodwill, Big Lots, Kroger, Publix, etc work with school systems in providing pre-vocational skill aquisition & then after graduation from public school, provide job sites for training and/or employment for those with significant DD/ID.

                  It is a very lengthy, fine tuned process involving various agencies & service providers & human beings dedicated to an individual with disability.  Lengthy as in years per individual with DD/ID.

                  Mom & Dad age.  Mom & Dad eventually die.  That kiddo with disability needs safety nets from birth to death & SSI is one of those safety nets.  

                  The work around to keeping those benefits AND have a "job" is to pay pennies in wages for putting one shirt a day on a hanger or a bolt into a baggie.  

                  Keep in mind that these individuals do not & cannot physically work an 8 hour shift.  Their "job" may consist of a couple of hours a day, a couple of days a week.  It is not 8 hours 5 days a week. How can they possibly live on real wages based on this reality?????

            •  WTF is your problem? (0+ / 0-)

              You think that anyone who acknowledges that there is a law that allows this practice suddenly means that that person also "supports" said law?

              Do you want to be useful?  Do you really want to help?

              If you do, you need to know the name and text of the law in order to petition to change it.  Otherwise, you just sound like a freaking lunatic howling at the moon to change something that you can't even identify well enough to make a change.

          •  Yes, they are the predators here. Which division (0+ / 0-)

            issues these certificates?  Are they blanket waivers, or is the minimum in the certificate?  Who decides what the worker is worth?
                 This is as disgusting as it gets. I'm going to have to check on "Good"will here in Florida.
            By the way, what's with an alleged charity doing being franchised?  Are these 501(c)(3) operations?
            Why does this sound like that last season of Weeds?

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:45:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Is that a state statute or a Federal one? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero, Miggles, Vetwife

        If it's a state statute, then the Federal ADA trumps it.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:21:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is a FEDERAL statute. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bleeding blue, concernedamerican

          Did you read the diary or the associated link?

          What the hell is going on around here these days?

          Do people bother to read beyond the headlines and their outrage anymore?

          The "Fair Labor Standards Act" is a Federal statute that most people would have (or should have) learned about in their high school American History class.

          •  Usually I do. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Debby

            Sorry I've had a long day today, spent the better part of it in the hospital with a copd exacerbation. So I tried to take a short cut and just read the diary and not the link. I wasn't sure, so I asked. That's why I said 'if'

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:23:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Where? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Vetwife

        No, really, I believe you, I just want to see it. And then I want to use that visual to research, to see if it's possible to go back and try to identify whose idea it was to legalize such a sick statute.

        That's just disgusting.

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:19:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It kept the workhouses open, and back then, (0+ / 0-)

          workhouses were the only option for the very severely disabled.

          There were no public resources for their care.

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:10:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And a real reason for the need for this statute as (0+ / 0-)

        it pertains to the DD/ID population that does not have nor ever have the skill sets needed to be financially self sufficient.

      •  Perhaps. However... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KibbutzAmiad, bkamr
        ...pay disabled workers according to their abilities
        The law doesn't say you can pay them anything you want.  It says, pay "according to their abilities".

        I calculate $.22/hr to be approx. 3% of minimum wage.  That calculates out to a worker that is 97% disabled.   So, the worker performs the equivalent of approximately 1.8 minutes of work for each hour that they work.  

        I would think it would be very difficult for Goodwill to prove that its employees are only performing the equivalent of 1.8 minutes of work per hour.

        It would be interesting to inquire as to how many employees they have on staff, and how each are paid.   And, then, to find out how many able-bodied employees are necessary to staff an equivalent operation.  At 3% ability, it would imply that the store would need to staff 33 disabled persons with this level of ability to cover the responsibilities of one able-bodied staff member.     So, if the store is even one able-bodied person short, I'd want to know where the 32 other disabled persons are, to make up the labor shortage.  

        Or, I might assume the disabled worker is actually producing more work than he is being paid for.

        •  You have to take into account... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badscience

          ...their consumption of resources too, which I am sure is considerable.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 06:41:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your heart is in the right place (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Another Grizzle

          and you get the general idea of the program.  But here are some nuts and bolts of the situation.

          An employer (and you don't have to be a non-profit) can apply for a 14 c certificate which allows you to pay people sub-minimum wages.  This is done through the Department of Labor, specifically, the Wage and Hour Division, I believe.

          Here's the short version of how you establish a commensurate wage.  You take a task, let's say hanging a shirt  on a hanger.  You write down all the steps associated with performing that task.  For example, take shirt out of bin; inspect for damage; put hanger through the bottom of the shirt; put hook part of the neck hole; place the hanger through each arm hole, etc.   You then take an experienced worker (or workers) and, preferably, when they don't know you are timing them, you see how many shirts they can do in a given time period following that procedure.  You do this several times and you come up with a figure of say, 50 shirts every 10 minutes is a 100 percent productive worker.

          You then train the person with a disability to perform that exact task with those exact steps.  Within a short period of their hiring you will want to then do time studies to see how they compare with the person that set the standard.  You then have their productivity rating and you can pay them based on their rating.  You must then time study them at least once every 6 months or when you believe that they are exceeding their productivity rating.  Some agencies actually do continual time studies (ie every week or every month) so they can identify people that need more help and people that are advancing so that they can get paid more.

          That's it in a nutshell.  There are other considerations such as re-work, personal fatigue and delay rates, etc. that you can learn about in two day seminars but that is how you do it.  The Department of Labor performs audits on companies with 14 c certificates and there are significant back wage liabilities and penalties for not doing it correctly.  

          Hope this helps.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:44:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Devil's Advocate, Here (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MGross, guyeda, Oh Mary Oh, theotherside

        I worked with severely physically and mentally disabled adults for years, and I can understand how these wages might be justified. Often, the people I worked with required full time one-to-one or one-to-two person paid supervision. There could be WIDE ranges of ability to complete the simplest of tasks, but no one I worked with was ever fired or disciplined for lack of productivity.

        In the mornings, I worked to get my folks up, showered, fed, and dressed - teaching a "normal" morning job routine. Other full time workers oversaw every small step at their place of work, where they were taught how to request breaks, how to return to work from lunch break, how to request assistance. It sounds harsh to pay anyone so little, and I'm not gonna say that Goodwill couldn't have been abusing the system - especially with their upper managements' salaries! But I can understand that keeping severely disabled workers employed means paying for multiple separate, full time and experienced people to oversee every detail of their work. That person may not be able to be paid a full minimum wage.

        "Why you gotta act like you know when you don't know?" - Ben Folds

        by RNinNC on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 07:04:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No Vetwife. See my comment further down. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CS in AZ, badscience, Sparhawk

      Action is needed for those truly being exploited but not for those with DD/ID that depend on SSI for their lifetime & cannot make wages that impact their benefits.

      Action is needed state by state for funding & services.

  •  Read that story this a.m. (21+ / 0-)

     It's infuriating, as I've supported Goodwill with $ and goods donations, as well as purchases at their stores, for decades.  No more.
      It's unconscionable that they can treat some disabled people this way, "legal" or not.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:22:45 PM PDT

    •  me too, former Goodwill supporter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, JoanMar

      Can someone please initiate a petition?

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:35:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would ask you to please research a little (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Another Grizzle

        to make sure you are doing this with your eyes wide open.  I work in the disability community and 14 c (the certificate that allows you to pay sub-minimum wages) is one of the things that allows thousands and thousands of people with disabilities to be able to get a job and feel "normal".

        Most people with low productivity ratings are on disability and, thus, have other income.  And so they are doing a job for both money, for rehab/therapy purposes and as a self-esteem building exercise.  Under the current situation you can have a "fully productive" worker that is able to fold 10 towels in a minute and they get paid $8.00 an hour.  Right next to them you could have two people that are each only able to fold 5 towels in a minute.  The fully productive worker folds ten towels and gets paid $8.00 an hour the two other workers jointly fold 10 towels a minute and jointly get paid $8.00 an hour but they are each only getting paid $4.00 an hour.  

        If you eliminate 14 c, then you force an employer to pay $8.00 to all employees and what you'll quickly see is that the people who are not capable of folding 10 towels a minute are going to be let go and replaced by (most likely) non-disabled workers.

        In short, it's a complicated issue and being mad at Goodwill's for employing people with disabilities and paying them at a rate commensurate with their output, when so few other employers are willing to do so, is not a good solution in my book.

        My suggestion is to see if your local Goodwill will give you a tour of their facility and have them explain to you how they do productivity ratings and see who they are helping.  I would like to think that you would then go back to supporting them.

        (PS I work in the disablity community and my views are mine, not my employers.  Also, I used to work for a Goodwill.  I actually hated the experience because our management was so messed up but we had a lot of good middle managers and staff that really made a difference in the lives of people with disablities.  Hopefully you have a good Goodwill and they really help people with disabilities like the hundreds of others across the country.)

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:59:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They have always been "Goodwill Industries" (5+ / 0-)

      and they are technically not a charity.  The only thing that they did that was helpful was to employ the disabled.  However, if they are employing them at wages well below anything that could be considered a living wage, then the have no intrinsic value, at all.

  •  That's not quite the story (37+ / 0-)

    Disclosure:  I know a job coach at Goodwill quite well.

    In many cases, these people are in the workshop because they're unfit for any other employment--and heaven knows the states don't want to pay for it.  Or they have such severe health issues that they're unable to do much work.

    So they may get paid by the piece and only finish 2 or 3 pieces a day.  My friend told me a story about a woman who slept most of the day at her station because she's unwell.

    Rather than fire her, which they don't do, they simply pay her for what she can do.  She gets out of the house and gets to do what she can do--which isn't much, but it's something.

    So although she may only be earning $0.10 an hour on average, that's what she's able to do.

    They aren't strapping these folks to treadmills and making them generate power for $0.10 an hour.  They're paying piece rate to folks who can't do very much due to disabilities.

    So that's another part of the story, and one I notice they didn't really go into.

    (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:41:33 PM PDT

    •  another point (15+ / 0-)

      Presumably these people can't take care of themselves and have someone looking after them.  And their guardian thinks this arrangement is worthwhile despite the fact that it likely costs more to get to/from work than they are making.

      •  Exactly (21+ / 0-)

        Like I said to Vetwife, I spent a while discussing this with my friend (and was typing while talking, so the above might be a bit disjointed).

        In a lot of cases, the parents of a severely physically or mentally handicapped person keeps them in the workshop even though they're not doing much, if any, actual work.  Which Goodwill is happy to do.

        It's simply the parents who need the break for a few hours a day.

        If you're getting the image of daycare for adults, you're pretty much right.  The folks there do try to instill some work ethic in those who are able to absorb it, but per my friend this is kind of rare.

        This is a last stop.  It's either this or they have nowhere to go during the day.

        (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:07:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is some pretty desperate and rapid pushback. (10+ / 0-)

          If this is just free babysitting, then there's no reason at all to call it a job.

          What you're saying is that it's perfectly ok with you to make severely handicapped people work as hard as they are able in order pay someone to "mind them" for a few hours.

          I just don't get how there's no vomit on your keyboard.

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:34:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was dialing as fast as I can. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Denver11, Argyrios, worldlotus

            Yep, he's in hysterics.

            Exact quote...well, not exact as I'm removing the insults.  "Tell her to volunteer at Goodwill and see for herself.  They do accept volunteers, and I'm sure she has a few hours on Saturdays to help us out.  We'll give her the number of the county inspector when she arrives."

            (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

            by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:40:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Charities don't exploit people. They provide (9+ / 0-)

              services.

              I don't know why you can't get that.  I don't know why your "friend" doesn't get that, but it's clear that she doesn't.

              If they're able to produce items that can be sold, they can do that as volunteers as readily as they can do it for a pathetically tiny salary.

              I'm certain their caregivers are thrilled to have a few hours off.  What I don't understand is why that makes it ok to employ them at far lower wages than we'd pay a mass murderer.

              If they don't need the money - and you insist that they don't need it at all and it's completely irrelevant how little they make - then there's no reason for not just having them come in as volunteers.

              On the one hand, you claim that their labor is useless.  On the other, you insist that the only way to get care for them for a few hours a day is by exploiting the very labor you've declared useless.

              You don't even see how you're stomping all over your own premises as you try to defend this.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:47:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You have never been in one of these facilities and (5+ / 0-)

                you just don't know what you're talking about.

                Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

                by Deathtongue on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:57:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  In 1938 the law might have made some sense. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tobendaro

                As of now, it makes none.  

                I think the simplest thing to do is to change the setup so it is nonpaying, and called volunteering, for those folks who are unable to handle the job functions.

                Then, the charity would be providing dignity, would not be exploiting as it currently does.

                How is timing them with a stopwatch for every piece of the job function remotely dignified? (CBS reported on this as well, and emphasized the stopwatch checks.)

                (I recognize that jobs need to quantify, but the story states that all this really does is cause anxiety among the workers, and an excuse to take 'em down from 3 to 2 cents an hour etc.)

                Dear budget cutting GOP'ers: Public transit is my “car.” And frankly, I’d like it back.

                by imfunnytoo on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 04:23:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The Department of Labor sets up the rules (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Another Grizzle

                  regarding 14c and you need to have the workers perform specific tasks in a specific order over a specific amount of time (hence the stop watch) in order to see how they compare to a standard setter that does the exact same work in the exact same fashion for the exact same amount of time.

                  You most often are trying to time them when they are not aware of the timing because you don't want to make them nervous so they do worse and also so they don't speed up because they know they are being timed.

                  I've been in numerous packaging facilities staffed by people with disabilities and if you went to one you would better understand how, for some of the people with the most significant disabilities, this is a blessing that these places exist.

                  We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                  by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:04:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody "makes" them work JesseCW (8+ / 0-)

            You really have absolutely no clue what you are talking about here. Come see the inside of a Goodwill jobs program before you speak as if you know what it's about.

            •  You really, really don't get it. There's only one (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bleeding blue

              reason NOT to run it in the manner I just described.

              And you know what it is.

              You see a smile on someones face, you just automatically stop caring whether they're being paid fairly?

              Why, I bet a few of them at times dance and sing too.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:43:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I work with Goodwill and have been inside these (4+ / 0-)

                programs and worked very closely with the people who help and support the individuals with disabilities who hold these jobs. Have you?

                •  Clarification: I do not work at or for Goodwill (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Diogenes2008, worldlotus

                  I work WITH the folks who work at these programs, in a supportive capacity.

                •  I expected that it was naked self interest (0+ / 0-)

                  at play.

                  Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                  by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:57:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh my fucking God, really! (14+ / 0-)

                    yes, I and all the people who devote lives to working with and supporting people with severe disabilities do it for naked self interest. Of course that's it.

                    •  Really. Very very few people will *ever* admit (0+ / 0-)

                      it when they're part of doing something wrong to others.

                      Right now, your advancing the argument that since you've been part of it, it must not be wrong.

                      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                      by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:01:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No I am not! I am saying that if you have not been (4+ / 0-)

                        there and understand what is really going on, then you don't know what you're talking about. Which you DO NOT.

                        •  You're talking to someone (14+ / 0-)

                          Who once told me that volunteer work took paid jobs away from people who needed them. In that same diary, I was also told by others that the President asking the elderly if they'd like to volunteer in their communities was one step away from forcing them to work in sweatshops to make them "earn" their Social Security.

                          Seriously.

                          I've done volunteer work for years - because I can't work a paying job.

                          The things I do on a volunteer basis are those that wouldn't get done otherwise.

                          Plus, it gives me a chance to feel productive - something that is underrated.

                          I think people need to slow down and stop feeding on a constant diet of outrage. It's bad for the mind, the spirit and the heart.

                          "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

                          by Diogenes2008 on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:22:07 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you Diogenes2008 - I hear you (7+ / 0-)

                            and completely agree. I'm generally very good and just rolling my eyes and stepping back. They can rail about President Obama -- he can take it. They can flip totally out about the NSA and go full on Glenn Beck, I honestly don't care anymore.

                            But Jesus H. Fucking Christ -- going after Goodwill?!?!  This is so far off the deep end, it just hurts. Really. I have been there. I have seen the faces and smiles of the people working at Goodwill jobs programs, doing work that would be SO much easier and less expensively accomplished in other ways, all to create work, community, a sense of value, belonging and worth to people who almost every writes off as useless, who used to be warehoused and drugged and totally ignored. Goodwill gives them SOOOOOO much, it just makes me incredibly angry to see the ridiculous, totally out-of-touch attitude. And apparently it is media driven, there was some expose on TV. Great. Just what we need. ... sigh. I need to go to bed. Thank you again for hearing me Diogenes...

                          •  It seems like there are a few commenters here (6+ / 0-)

                            including you, who have direct experience with this kind of jobs program. What you all are saying about it makes sense to me: it is a social services program for the disabled, not traditional "employment."

                            I would love to read a diary about what these jobs programs do from the viewpoint of the people who do support work within them (like you) and people who have disabled friends or family who participate in them.

                          •  I second that (5+ / 0-)

                            We need that perspective. Sometimes we hear a story, and only get one side or view of it.

                            Hearing all sides is the only way we'll ever see the full picture, and it's dangerous to make up your mind on anything if you don't have ALL the facts.

                            "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

                            by Diogenes2008 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 06:39:27 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You can find some of this on YouTube (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Another Grizzle

                            Go there and type in AbilityOne program and you can get a flavor for some of the people with disabilities that are helped by companies like Goodwill.

                            Here is one I found rather quickly:

                            http://www.youtube.com/...

                            With that said, the AbilityOne program, while it does serve people with significant disabilities, doesn't often serve the lowest functioning people.  The people that you see working on those contracts often have productivity ratings in the 70 to 100 percent range.   The people that are being paid $.03 or $.22 or $.57 an hour are the most significantly disabled and they most likely are doing packaging, bundling, sorting type of work instead of doing food service, janitorial, grounds maintenance type work that is common in the AbilityOne program.

                            We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                            by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:43:56 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  CS, I'm sorry I'm too late to rec your comments (0+ / 0-)

                      My old neighbor had a severely cognitively disabled daughter who loved her job at Goodwill. Going off to a "job" three days a week was a big deal. I don't think having it called "volunteer work" would have pleased her nearly as much as having a "job" like everybody else.
                      I really appreciate that people like you are making it possible for adults with disabilities like my neighbor's daughter to live much richer lives than they would otherwise.

                  •  Damn, JesseCW (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Another Grizzle

                    Please listen to people who actually work in the disability community and try to learn a thing or two about something which you clearly don't understand.  You think that a "job coach" with a bachelor's degree that is paid $9.00 an hour to help people with disabilities do their job is "naked self interest at play"??!?!?!?!

                    Shoot, I know of job coaches that are working with people with disabilities who are cleaning federal buildings.  Since it is federal work the Service Contract Act applies and they (the people with disabilities) are paid SCA wages and Health and Welfare benefits.  So you have a situation where the job coach is making $9, $10, $11 an hour with bumpkis for benefits and the person with a disability they are working with is making $12 an hour and they are receiving an additional $3.81 an hour in either cash or are having $3.81 an hour go toward a health care plan.

                    I LOVE that you are trying to protect people with disabilities and trying to make sure they are taken care of.  But without understanding the 14 c regulations and what the result of elminating them would be without something better being put in their place, you are actually hurting PWD, IMO.

                    (Standard disclaimer:  I work in the disability community and the views are my own, not necessarily my employers.)

                    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                    by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:17:28 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I suppose this could force Goodwill to let all (4+ / 0-)

                these folks go and then  hire far fewer people that can do the work.  That would solve the problem and be the right thing to do.  I suppose. You really don't get what's going on with this program.  It's not about exploiting these people.  They aren't doing enough work to exploit.  These aren't sweatshops churning out hundreds of pieces of clothes a day.  This is someone hanging up an article of clothing once an hour or taking all day to move some items out of one box into another.

                Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

                by thestructureguy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:54:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And? What exactly is the problem with (5+ / 0-)

                  that?

                  If you want to help people help them.

                  Don't take their labor for virtually nothing in return and claim that you're doing them sort of favor.

                  Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                  by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:00:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are doing them a favor (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Another Grizzle

                    You seem very impassioned and that's great.  Take your passion and go down to your local Goodwill or to your local ARC or to some of the hundreds of others that support people with disabilities and see for yourself.

                    You and I know that a person making $.03 an hour (which is by far the exception) doesn't have a "real" job.  But for all the thousands and thousands of others that are paid 40, 50, 75, 90 percent of minimum wage do have "real" jobs that they are proud of.  These people are often put down their whole lives for how they were born.  In these programs they are given a safe place to work and are doing things they never thought was possible ie holding a job.

                    But even better, some of them do improve.  Some of them do get up to full productivity.  Some of them do learn life skills and work skills so that they can then get a job out in the "real" world.  Sadly, some never can make that leap but to remove the lowest rung on the ladder because you think it is too low for them doesn't help people with disabilities, it actually hurts them.

                    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                    by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:29:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  If they were paid "fairly"... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CS in AZ

                ...they'd be paid nothing at all, because that's the value these people provide to a work environment,  somewhere between moderately negative and slightly positive. It's unfortunate for a number of reasons, but it's simply the reality.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 10:55:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The whole purpose (0+ / 0-)

                  behind a nonprofit is to essentially remove the 'value' part of the equation [and the 'market' part of the equation, since you're so in love with the 'free market' notion] so that the recipients of services can get the service.  

                  There simply is no reason or justification to pay these people so low.

                  Oh wait, I forgot about management- we need to provide for these vampire squids, too, so management can suck up as much grant $$ for itself as it possibly can.

                  The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                  by dfarrah on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:39:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Do you know anyone (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kentucky Kid, worldlotus, bkamr

            Who has worked in something like a Goodwill workshop or has been a caregiver for someone who has?

            If so, your stated inability to "get" how someone doesn't agree with you may be because of a lack of empathy because it is outside your frame of reference.

          •  JesseCW (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Another Grizzle

            If you are in the Virginia area we should get together and I can take you on a tour or two of some local non-profit agencies that serve people with significant disabilities (not the "severely handicapped").

            Seeing in person what Lonely Liberal writes about is an eye opening and, hopefully, heart warming experience.  You can then have a better idea of whether or not non-profit agencies are these terrible abusers of people with disabilities or they are doing some of the most awesome things out there.

            We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

            by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:57:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The three goodwills (0+ / 0-)

          that I used to frequent do not have any severely disabled people working at them.  I have been in the collection areas and sorting areas and the people are all working hard.  I am doubtful that Goodwill does much in the way of severely disabled hiring.  One caveat to that is where I live.  We have the Barber National Institute which does all the things the Goodwill is assumed to do.  Perhaps the stores here can't find anyone to hire from that category because they are well taken care of here.

          Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

          by tobendaro on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 05:54:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It is not about the money, it is for the sake of (11+ / 0-)

        working. For people with severe intellectual disabilities, having a job gives them something to do each day and allows them to feel worthwhile and like they are contributing -- they have coworkers and friends there, it is not in any way about making money. Job services like this are essentially day programs for people that would otherwise sit in institutions. Goodwill doesn't make a profit or exploit them, it builds self esteem and a sense  of worth to have a job, however meager. I have been inside a Goodwill shop where these people work, it is very much for the benefit of the persons who hold these jobs to have this opportunity to do a days work and feel like they have something to give.

        •  If we stop drumming into people that they (5+ / 0-)

          AREN'T worthwhile if they don't work, they wouldn't NEED to take exploitative jobs to prove their worth.

          I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

          by second gen on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:19:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We are talking about people with severe disability (10+ / 0-)

            I realize this is not an area that most people have any understanding of, but you have to realize that for people that have significant intellectual disabilities, having a job is a HUGE boost to self esteem and meaning and it means so much to them to go to work like "normal" people. I wish there were a way to make people understand...

            •  I do understand. (3+ / 0-)

              And what I also understand is we have to stop trying to make disabled people wish they were "like normal people". Letting them take jobs "like normal people" means they should be paid "like normal people".

              And if they can't do things "like normal people" then maybe we should stop making them feel like that's a bad thing.

              It's like women's body image. We can help each woman strive to be a size 10, "like beautiful people" or we can change our attitudes and stop making women feel like being a size 10 makes her "beautiful people".

              Exploiting their labor is the wrong answer. Giving them something worthwhile to boost their self esteem is what's important, not making them feel that they should work harder to be "like normal people".

              I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

              by second gen on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:40:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  second gen, in one way I agree with you, but (12+ / 0-)

                I have to say it is just not that simple. Nobody "makes" these people feel this way, it is the way of our world today. Having a job to do and feeling like you have tasks that matter and coworkers who care and count of you, etc.  - it is SOCIAL more than anything else. At Goodwill they actually have a 'day room' where some people do not work, they just sit, watch TV, talk to someone, whatever they want, but many people WANT to have a job, something that they are 'responsible for' and that is "important" and that is their job is hugely significant to them. It would be horrible for them to take it away. It is not forced, it is by choice and the people who do this work are usually very proud of their accomplishments, even if it's just stuffing an envelop with the proper pieces of paper. It's hard to explain if you haven't been there.

                •  Well, here's the thing. In one of the earlier (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JoanMar, AaronInSanDiego, lunacat, bkamr

                  videos with Brian Williams, they talked about how they get tested every year to see what their work standards are. And they're allowed 2 mistakes, and after that, they start to lose hourly pay. Their pay can go up, or it can go down. That, to me, isn't right. If it's all about making them feel better because they have a job and a place to go, they should NEVER be penalized because they can't measure up to some arbitrary standard.

                  That's just ONE of my problems with this situation.

                  The other is, rather than propping up some corporation's profit, WE, as a nation, should be putting these people places where they can feel like they've accomplished something. It shouldn't be about profits, it should be about self esteem and self worth. Not someone else's idea of what their worth is.

                  I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

                  by second gen on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:00:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have not seen the TV show, so I don't know what (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Diogenes2008, Va1kyrie, worldlotus, bkamr

                    it represented. I HAVE been inside Goodwill jobs programs, and I have worked closely with people who work there, and I know that what they are doing is an extremely beneficial and valuable programs and it means the world to the participants, and it is being very badly misunderstood. And I know the people at Goodwill do what they do because they care and want to do something worthwhile, it is not about making money or exploiting anyone.

                    •  Yes. I suppose I could look loving and (0+ / 0-)

                      caring about people if I was making a half million dollar salary doing it, too. It's like the Susan G Khomen thing. Everyone thought it was great, till they found out the Founder was making millions off her sister's death.

                      I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

                      by second gen on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:24:26 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  In fact most people who work at Goodwill make shit (9+ / 0-)

                        for money. People work there because they chose to devote their lives to supporting people with disabilities. A Goodwill job coach, who hand-holds someone else all day so that person can "have a job" that they LOVE and feel proud of, makes a very small paycheck. They do work that most people would never even consider for a moment. And they do it with love and caring that most people can't even come close to, and would turn their heads away from even looking at some of the people who Goodwill provides jobs and a life for.

                      •  I understand what you are saying but (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Another Grizzle

                        IMO you are falling victim to lazy journalism.  Yes, a very small group of people have productivity ratings so low that they are paid less than $.20 per hour.  And yes, some of the companies that keep these people employed and give them support are so large that the executives make a half a million or more in total compensation.  Both situations are real albeit somewhat rare.

                        The question that needs to be addressed is what to do about it.  I strongly support people with disabilities and have seen a blind and deaf janitor do great work.  But I also support the ability to pay them sub-minimum wage based on productivity because if you don't, our society wouldn't hire very many of them at all.  There also has been some talk abou thow to limit CEO pays for non-profits especially ones that have 14 c certificates.  I'm not what the right answer is but I do know that you do need to consider these things separately because otherwise you end up throwing the baby out with the bath water and hurting people with disabilities in the process.

                        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                        by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:56:38 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think it's the same thing. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CS in AZ, bkamr, badscience, guyeda

                If you've ever been around small children, some of the first things that come out of their mouths are, "I can do it! Let me help!" Nobody is telling small children that they have to work to be worthwhile. It's human instinct to want to do things, to try things, to master things.

                Get old and do lots of stuff in the process. Half of the fun is trying everything out. --Noddy

                by Debby on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 11:32:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Let's try this idea then... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bkamr

              Goodwill pays everybody minimum wage for the number of hours that correspond to the SSI benefit that the disabled person receives.  The government reimburses Goodwill 100% of the minimum wage.  The pennies per hour that Goodwill spent on compensation for the unemployed may now be spent on reasonable adminstrative fees.  The disabled get the same amount of money that they did from SSI, but Goodwill's name is on the check instead of the US treasury.

              "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

              by Yamaneko2 on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 11:10:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That would be a valid point (0+ / 0-)

          if the CEO wasn't making millions off that desire to just have something to do.  Goodwill is not a charity nor is it a non profit.  It is a set up to gain profit from the labor of the disabled and the charity of the givers.  

          Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

          by tobendaro on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 05:59:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The business model seems interesting. I used to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tobendaro

            be an organizational developer, so I like to look at the numbers and structure of orgs.

            From the NBC article:

            Harold said he believes Goodwill can afford to pay him minimum wage, based on the salaries paid to Goodwill executives. While according to the company's own figures about 4,000 of the 30,000 disabled workers Goodwill employs at 69 franchises are currently paid below minimum wage, salaries for the CEOs of those franchises that hold special minimum wage certificates totaled almost $20 million in 2011.
            Taking this information:

            1.  11% of the workers are paid below minimum wage.  
            2.  Which means that 89% actually do earn minimum wage. (Kind of begs the question of how people would reacts to a headline like: 11% of Goodwill Employees Make Less Than Miinimum Wage.)
            3.  Average "CEO" of a franchise makes about $290,000 with the average employee base of 493 people ... making them really only about a Director level in large company/ franchise director which rates about $150 K.  So, this is high, with some of the "CEO's" making a lot more than this average, while some must be at about the industry rate.

            Questions that I'd like to have answered about all this:

            - Would paying ALL employees minimum wage have a negative effect on SSI benefits?  I'm sure this could be fixed if it is a problem, but I'd like to know there was a fix in place before people experienced harm in the meantime.
            - The 11% who are making less than minimum wage, why? Is it due to invalid time study tests?  If so, that is horrible and should be stopped.  Is it that about 10% of the employees are mainly coming for the socialization reasons and spending their day in the dayroom with only doing one or two things a day?  2 or 3 cents is a ridiculous amount, obviously, but ...
            - What would be a "fair" way to compensate? There certainly could be a minimun pay level to cover transportation for everyone -- even if they only come to spend some part of some days, there.  And, there is room to trim CEO compensation by $75 K to pay the 4000 at least $25 a week -- the bus fare my Husband pays each week.-- whether they do anything or not.
            -  Whic brings me to: How is CEO salary determined?  Big question, here.
            - And finally, Are ALL the franchises following the same sort of business model or are they vastly different? Are some exploitive and worthy of exposure, outrage and contempt ... while others are filled with supportive and positive people and experiences?  

            If this is so, then, the pro comments and outraged comments in this diary could all be reflective of the truth.

            Bottom-line for me:  This situation requires a more in-depth look to fully understand what is going on.  I'm glad that it is getting attention.  Those places doing the terrific work some posters are describing deserve support and accolades -- and if there are any franchises and "CEO's" who are running slave wage sweat shops using those who have the least ability to protect themselves?  Well, they deserve to be exposed, shamed, and tossed out!  Their workers deserve leadership and to be given a dignified, supportive work environment that recognizes their individual needs and abilities and pays them a fair wage.

            Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

            by bkamr on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 07:22:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Awesome comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Another Grizzle

              There is so much more than meets the eye.  Lazy journalism prompted this diary and people are jumping to conclusions without even knowing what questions should be asked.  You did a good job of bringing up those questions which will give you a framework for determining if continuing with 14 c is a worthwhile endeavor.

              As I've said countless times in this diary, I work in the disability community and strongly favor the 14 c provisions.  Yes, it can be abused because it is a man made system.  But on the whole it does an incredible amount of good for people with disabilities.  We could move to an even better system for PWD but that would require more funding and support structures for PWD are getting cut left and right.  So until the political realities change signficantly, 14 c is a valuable tool in helping people with disabilities.

              (These are my personal views and not those of my employer.)

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 09:04:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  That's a very important part of the story! (4+ / 0-)

      Thanks for posting that info.

      “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

      by SoCalSal on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:59:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then they should be put in volunteer positions (9+ / 0-)

      at community not-for-profit organizations. Not used as a cheap work horse to enrich fat CEOs. I get that they need a place to go, and they do get some benefit, but not when it benefits the corporation more than it benefits the person. No way.

      I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

      by second gen on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:13:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Benefits the corporation? (13+ / 0-)

        Hardly.  The workshop is a net loss.  Actually, most of Goodwill runs at a loss, except for the stores.  Which do quite well, but not enough to make up for the rest of it.

        Companies that send piece work here are doing so as a community courtesy and donating the payment for work that would otherwise be done in-house.

        Relabeling mislabeled packages is one example.  Rather than re-run the packaging through the machine, one local company pays Goodwill to do it.  Everybody wins.

        Volunteer positions would also pay absolutely nothing, but require work.  

        (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:30:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You'd think a CHARITY might provide a place (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, second gen, JoanMar

        for them to go without trying to squeeze some cash out, you know?

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:35:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "the executives earn six figure salaries" (5+ / 0-)

          At least there's that.  Huh?

          •  Hey, with things are what they are these days (4+ / 0-)

            I would have a problem with low six figure salaries.

            I mean, someone with a Masters working 70 or 80 hours a week to run a nationwide organization?  I wouldn't be outraged at 120k.

            But...well...it ain't that low.

            Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

            by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:56:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Grr. Would not. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:00:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  They have managed to raise the bar (0+ / 0-)

              to astronomical heights as far as executive compensation.

              So now these executives will balk at "low six figures" - plenty for anyone to live comfortably - without the Porsche ...

              Reminds me of pro sports players, but balding and with pot bellies ... though the top execs can afford hair implants.

              Don't even need "talent" much of the time - like a corporate lottery.

              “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

              by RUNDOWN on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:55:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I have a cousin who spends his afternoons at (24+ / 0-)

          his Goodwill job.  He's in his fifties and his parents are in their 70's, now.  He sweeps the floor.  It takes him about 4 hours to do so.  According to my uncle, it's actually about a 30 minute job, so he's been paid 1/2 of one hour of minimum wage 5 days a week ... for the last 25 years.  
              So, I guess he makes about $18 a week or about 90 cents an hour.  
               But, my cousin is proud of his job.  It took him a long time to learn to do it, and he has a uniform with his name on it.  Every week, he proudly gives his mother his paycheck.  He can't understand money, but he knows that he has a paycheck.  He can't talk much, either, but I've seen him hand his paycheck to my Aunt and the look on her face as he does so.  In those moments, that check is worth a million bucks.
               He's always lived at home, and he'll go to live with his older brother when his parents can no longer care for him.  His brother plans on actually moving into my Aunt and Uncles home when that time comes, so he can keep his job -- and have a little disruption as possible.
               I guess my cousin could go there and sweep as a volunteer, but then, he wouldn't get to give my Aunt his paycheck.  I guess they could lay him and the rest of the "custodial staff" team members' jobs to one person for full pay, but then they wouldn't get to go there each day.
               My Aunt and Uncle are so grateful for the Goodwill organization and the role they've played in helping making my cousin's life more meaningful for him that they consider the place a real blessing.
               Maybe other places are not like the one my cousin works at, and maybe there are some that are really exploiting people.  Lord knows this world is full or people willing to take advantage of those least able to fend for themselves.
               However, given my exposure to the organization, I'd have to hear more about this situation before I'd be willing to make a judgment.  
               I'd be really interested to hear from other who have family members who work for them or volunteer there.
               

          Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

          by bkamr on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:21:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He can't understand money. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            second gen, Cassandra Waites

            So, in reality, it really doesn't matter to him if he's paid.

            He knows the look on his moms face.  He wants to please the people he loves.  That's completely understandable.

            And do you think she'd have a different look, or he'd be somehow less fulfilled as a person, if he wasn't drawing a salary of less than 1/4th minimum wage?

            You think if he went somewhere people just cared about him, and wanted to help him enjoy his life, and did crafts or listened to music or played simple games, and if he came home with a certificate of achievement....that somehow his life would be much much poorer?

            Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

            by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:41:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The reality is, he's reacting to mom's (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, Argyrios

              sweet smile and elated expression when he hands over the money. If only we could have a place where he could go and do enjoyable things, paint, play, or whatever, and he came home to his mom's sweet smile and elated face because he was happy and had a beautiful day and hung his artwork on the wall.

              We could. If we weren't trying to monetize every fucking thing we do in this country.

              I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

              by second gen on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:45:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is DailyKos. This is increasingly what it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                second gen

                is.

                People who think working someone four hours for a half hours pay is NOBLE.

                We're the outliers.

                They're the norm here.

                Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:02:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think you are getting it (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Oh Mary Oh, theotherside

              When I first read this diary I was outraged.

              I added the Goodwill to my mental company "shit list".

              Then I read comments from people who actually worked with the disabled there and other places.  I understand what the Goodwill is trying to do.

              I wish the execution was better.  Something about "paying" someone cents an hour sounds wrong, exploitative.  But the thing is, the way it is in reality is that the Goodwill isn't really "paying" these folks at all.  They are actually providing a service to these folks and making it look like a "job".  

              By the Goodwill giving these folks all the trappings of a real job - a paycheck, uniform, etc.  They boost their self esteem and give their caregivers a break. I suspect that some of these workers may have objected to just being sent to a regular adult daycare center and much prefer going to their "job" at the Goodwill, even though in reality, the actual result is exactly the same.

              There may be a better way to do this...but I don't think the attack on the Goodwill is justified.

              •  There are probably all kinds of legal reasons (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                EastcoastChick, Oh Mary Oh

                that these disabled adults need to be employees rather than volunteers or participants in daycare.

                I am finding the comments by people with actual first-hand experience to be extremely educating and enlightening.

                If I want to get outraged about exploitive labor (and there is plenty to get outraged about) how about prison labor? Now that needs some light shined on it.

                •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  badscience, Oh Mary Oh

                  I read more comments about the complications of SSI payments and earnings. And how important those SSI payments are.  The comments have completely extinguished my outrage fire.

                  Now prison labor....I agree totally.  They are technically slaves.  And no one cares because they are criminals.  Even though with every passing day, it becomes easier and easier for anyone to become a criminal.

                  Soon we all may be criminals just by typing snarky comments on this website.

          •  Beautiful comment! Thank you for sharing this. (7+ / 0-)

            This is something near and dear to my heart as well, and I sincerely thank you for sharing your cousin's story.

      •  No they should be paid. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Debby, worldlotus

        Why would it be better in your mind if disabled people were sent out to work as free (aka slave) labor?

    •  Then perhaps they should just *volunteer*. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      second gen, JoanMar

      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

      by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:27:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where? (12+ / 0-)

        And which particular volunteer organizations are going to put up with a volunteer freaking out, which happens with relative frequency (boy did I get an earful from that conversation).  Or with social workers trotting in and out to visit them constantly?  Or allow a job coach to sit with them for days at a time?

        Very few, and those would saturate fast.  

        Nope, they'd end up with nothing to do for the day.

        Now if you'd like to advocate to Congress that places like Wal-Mart be required to hire and accommodate a certain percentage of severely disabled workers, with consideration and with decent pay, be my guest.

        (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:34:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I have no doubt you got a big fat earful (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          second gen, JoanMar

          of excuses from the person whose check gets paid in part because of this exploitation.

          How the fuck do you jump to Wal Mart?

          Does the idea of caring for people without trying to extract some sort of profit from them not even occur to you?

          You just got done telling us all that these people don't need jobs, and that it doesn't matter a bit to them if they're paid only 10 cents an hour.  That was the crux of your argument in favor of the exploitation that keeps your friend employed.

          Now, you offer the notion of handing them over to be abused by Wal-Mart?  WHY?

          What positive good do you even think that would accomplish?

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:40:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, gee, (10+ / 0-)

            I don't think NASA is too interested in hiring a severely MR person as a rocket engineer, do you?

            Low level retail would be what they can do.  Dishwashing jobs would also be another thing.  Food preparation, perhaps.

            Now I can absolutely full disclosure.  Which I didn't do before because it didn't particularly apply; I don't navigate the ins and outs of job issues, nor do I deal with Social Security.

            I volunteer for Goodwill as well, upon occasion, and I've actually met and helped the Workshop clients.  I play guard at the doors during social events so people don't wander out by accident and get lost.  I wipe butts.

            Call be back when you've put in a thousand hours.

            "How the fuck do you jump to" conclusions like this crap?

            I'm out of here.  If you want to speak without knowledge, consideration, or any intelligence, DO IT THE FUCK WITHOUT ME.

            (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

            by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:47:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You just got done insisting they don't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              second gen, Cassandra Waites

              need jobs.

              That this is just babysitting and their pay doesn't matter.

              So, really, who gives a fuck who NASA is going to hire?  You've insisted again and again that they don't need jobs.

              You can't even conceive of just letting people who don't need jobs....not have jobs.  

              You claim you volunteer, but then tell us no one would volunteer to work with disabled people.

              It's constant and complete contradiction.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:52:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's that bullshit idea that if you don't work for (5+ / 0-)

                a living, you have no dignity. You know, if you're so disabled that just walking in the woods or smelling the flowers is what you consider a good life, well, that's a horrible idea. There are a few good hours of labor to be gained here, let them show their worth. Work=worth. If you can't work, you have no worth.

                These are the takers, JesseCW. Let them pay back into the system so they can get their dignity back. Without working, even if they're not actually getting PAID for their work, they'll at least have their dignity. Amiright?

                I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

                by second gen on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:17:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "They need jobs, they just don't need an (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  second gen, Cassandra Waites

                  income".

                  Right now, the Godwin temptation is pretty severe.

                  Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                  by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:35:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I agree that this is a problem (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  second gen

                  It is drilled into everyone from a child.  Work = worth.

                  If you do not work you are not worthy of, well, anything.

                  This is the idea behind the whole "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" theme.  It's why some people are so resistant to the idea of universal healthcare, or welfare or any other social service, - in this country the very idea that a person may receive something that they didn't work for is offensive.

                  I can imagine that being severely disabled, unable to perform a job that anyone would pay for would be a major blow to one's self esteem. They may indeed feel worthless.

                  So basically, the Goodwill comes along and creates these "faux" jobs, so the severely disabled can "fit in", this "job" gives them worth.

                  I don't think the Goodwill is the problem.  Our culture is.

                  •  Exactly, and the Goodwill just capitalizes on it. (0+ / 0-)

                    I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

                    by second gen on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:42:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Hang on--I understood when you said (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AaronInSanDiego

              these people are too disabled to do regular jobs. I expect that "low level retail," dishwashing or food preparation would be way over their heads--you've got to be fast to earn minimum wage working in food service. I've been fired from those kinds of jobs for not being fast enough.

              I was with you when you were explaining how these people really aren't capable of work, but feel pride at being paid to do something, even if it's a small amount (which they maybe can't understand anyway). But if they're actually capable of minimum wage work, they should be paid minimum wage for it (according to the story, those who are capable are so paid).

              One thing we're maybe leaving out is that these people do get SSI at least, although that's a pretty small amount, it's a lot more than they could earn by working.

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:34:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Looking at the numbers in the article, 89% (0+ / 0-)

                of the workers are paid minimum wage.  And, before I have a plethora of comments accusing me of being in favor of 11% being used as slave labor -- I am not doing so.  

                I am simply providing some specificity/ facts to the above comment.

                Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

                by bkamr on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 07:27:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Lonely Liberal in PA, thank you for your heart in (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              badscience, bkamr, CS in AZ, Vetwife

              volunteering & trying to provide clarity here.

              From my heart to yours, thank you for the volunteer work you are doing for those who so need a friend & advocate.

    •  I can see where this is coming from... (9+ / 0-)

      It's interesting that neither Goodwill nor the news reporter picked up on this.

      What does concern me, however, is that in some stores this practice does NOT result in such absurdly low pay rates.  I wonder why there isn't a blanket policy about pay (I'm not blaming; I'm simply curious.)  One of the stories linked had a frustrated comment by a blind woman who'd worked for Goodwill and spoke about her low pay being cut even further because of their policies.

      Not all the disabled working for them are mentally disabled.

      I am also concerned about the folks who have to monitor or attend the mentally disabled -- do they get recompense or any sort of additional training (for their own safety)?

      Again, this is something I know nothing of (having just seen the news story.)  I'd be interested in learning more.

      •  There are, undoubtedly, (5+ / 0-)

        problems--I can only speak of where I volunteer, and where my friend works.  The county performs a full inspection by surprise every 3 months.  Social workers are in and out all the time and don't announce themselves, they just show up and walk in.  Shenanigans would be almost impossible.

        This is, however, merely one example.  It's entirely possible that some local Goodwill agencies have major issues.

        If so?  Nail those bastards to the wall and hit them with every legal and civil tool you can.

        I just find it unusual, to say the least, that people actually find it wrong to try to instill some work ethic or work ability in people in the hopes, however faint, that they'll someday perhaps be able to take a position in an actual company as a valued worker.  It boggles.

        "I am also concerned about the folks who have to monitor or attend the mentally disabled -- do they get recompense or any sort of additional training (for their own safety)?"

        They do, and they're licensed, at least here.  I've met the head of the workshop locally, of course, a very nice fellow.  He's got his counseling certifications as well, as I found out when talking to him, and he's finishing his advanced education (doctorate, I would guess, but I don't know).

        Pay scales, at least for my friend and others I know there are most definitely NOT competitive, and more in-line with social work.  Most likely the CEO should be taken out and given a good IRS audit, I shouldn't imagine differently.

        I'd imagine that varies by state, however, and Pennsylvania isn't exactly known to be the most stringent--or by far the least stringent!

        (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:20:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is the state that let a doctor give abortions (0+ / 0-)

          to full term babies, or killed babies who were born for almost 20 years? You say they do inspections.

          Mmmhmmm

          I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

          by second gen on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:34:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This sounds like exploitation to me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      I am really shocked that people are here trying to justify $0.10/hr.
      Words absolutely fail me.

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:57:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry..stopwatches would be intimidating (6+ / 0-)

    and if it is volunteer call it that......Are they going to provide insurance to subsidize their disabiity I wonder.
    It is explotation in the worst way..Making someone feel they fit in and then they talk to people making 10 an hour at another business and they find out how exploited they are.  Call it work therapy.. Call it Independent therapy..but somehow Goodwill is making money and getting some kind of loophole I bet by calling it wages.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:52:52 PM PDT

    •  For the most part (16+ / 0-)

      It's to get people who would otherwise be completely unemployed and unemployable out of the house for the day, give them something to do to whatever level they can do it, and give them some sense of accomplishment.

      I spent some time talking to my friend.  Clients get paid for the work they do, but aren't required to work at all (open disruption isn't tolerated but, per him, it often is anyway).

      They pay piece rate.  So if you're only doing 3 pieces a day and talking the rest of the time (as some do), your pay is lousy.  If you were working, you'd be at minimum wage or above.

      Everybody's implying that these people are strapped to the chairs and forced to work like a Chinese factory line for pennies.  They're not, and only a tiny percentage would be physically or mentally able to do that.

      The programs are monitored by the counties, so monitoring levels will vary.  My friend reports that our county is pretty much "white on rice" level of monitoring.

      Shutting these things down doesn't mean these folks are going to go out and get jobs.  Because nobody would hire them.  These are cases of severe enough mental or physical handicaps that they're otherwise unemployable--or the Goodwill job coaches would have found them another job.

      Some do graduate from the workshops to outside positions, but per my friend this is rather rare.  They wouldn't generally be there in the first place if they were able for something else.

      (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:03:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They can go volunteer if the only goal is (5+ / 0-)

        to get out of the house for the day, and give them a sense of accomplishment.

        It's lovely that your friend, whose job depends on this exploitive practice, is fully supportive.  It's also not relevant.
         

        They pay piece rate.  So if you're only doing 3 pieces a day and talking the rest of the time (as some do), your pay is lousy.  If you were working, you'd be at minimum wage or above.
        You just described most sweatshops.
        The programs are monitored by the counties, so monitoring levels will vary.  My friend reports that our county is pretty much "white on rice" level of monitoring.
        I wouldn't expect a friend desperate to maintain your good opinion to say anything else.

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:32:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mark the calendar. JesseCW and I both (4+ / 0-)

          agree, and vehemently, on this subject.

          I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

          by second gen on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:37:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I feel ya! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vetwife

            Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

            by JoanMar on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:00:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, I disagree (9+ / 0-)

            As someone who is disabled myself, I understand how important it can be to feel productive. To feel USEFUL.

            I wouldn't take that away from anyone - any more than I would force them to work.

            This way they have a choice, and if they can work here and there a little bit, then they can earn money and feel like they're doing something.

            What's the alternative for some of them? Sitting around doing nothing all day? Being lonely, bored, and institutionalized?

            This gives them a chance to feel some pride in their accomplishments. Even those who are seriously disabled often need that. If they don't want to work - fine. Nobody is forcing them to. This is an opportunity, not a sweatshop.

            For 15 years, I went downhill physically at an ever-increasing rate. I nearly died, and at best would have been in a wheelchair, unable to move at all. Much of my life was bounded by the four walls of my bedroom. I had my computer, which at the time was very nearly my only link to the outside world.

            I wasn't a shut-in, but came damned close to it for years because of severe weakness. There were entire days I couldn't make it out of the bed - and when I say that I don't mean "just tired". I mean so exhausted and weak that my legs quite literally would not hold me up. I had to keep food in my room because some days I couldn't make it as far as the kitchen. If I hadn't had a computer and TV, I'd have lost my mind.

            It was only by sheer luck that I found the medication that makes it possible for me to live a semi-normal life. I still can't work a real job, but I can do small bits of volunteer work here and there. Anyone who tries to take that away from me is going to be very sorry, I assure you.

            These people have been given a chance to get out of the house, to feel pride in what they're doing, and even make a few dollars here and there for the small amounts of work they're able to do. Many of them make friends and feel less alone in places like that. It gives them a chance for a social life they might not otherwise have. No fucking way would I take that from them.

            When you've been in their shoes (or mine) then all of you can speak to that situation.

            And if piecework is all they can do, then by God let them do it. Let them keep their fucking pride, because sometimes in life, that's all you HAVE.

            "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

            by Diogenes2008 on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:47:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Diogenes, thank you for these truths! (4+ / 0-)
              This is an opportunity, not a sweatshop....

              These people have been given a chance to get out of the house, to feel pride in what they're doing, and even make a few dollars here and there for the small amounts of work they're able to do. Many of them make friends and feel less alone in places like that. It gives them a chance for a social life they might not otherwise have. No fucking way would I take that from them.

            •  And, also as a disabled person, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vetwife

              I wouldn't want someone to use and exploit my disabilities for their own financial gain. Which is what is happening here, IMO.

              I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

              by second gen on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 05:05:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  {{{hugs}}} for what you have been through and (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Diogenes2008, badscience, Oh Mary Oh

              deal with on a daily basis.

              I was bedridden/ wheelchair bound with excruciating pain and loss of control over and numbness in my legs after a surgery to remove a giant schwanoma tumor from my sciatic nerve and spinal cord.  It lasted less than a year, but it was horrible.  Fortunately, a miracle medication (Neurontin - I love you) reduced the pain and restored enough functionality for me to resume a regular life and job.  I am incredibly lucky.

              I can not tell you how thrilled I was to be able to return to work!  One of my hobbies is drawing, and I started a small business doing protraits while I was in that chair, but I cried with joy the first day I was able to return to my job.  

              For me, at least, I love doing the work I have chosen to do in my life.  It is a part of what makes my life meaningful for me.  It's not everything -- but it's not neglible either.  I'm sure many disabled people may have the same thoughts and feelings and deserve the opportunity to do so.

              Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

              by bkamr on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 07:43:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I just have to say I have no idea how you are (10+ / 0-)

          thinking what you're thinking here. Volunteer? Do you know how disabled these people are? Nobody would let them volunteer for anything. In the workshops I've been in the clients work on things that require simple tasks when they want to, and do things like drawing and collage when they don't feel like working. Many of them have friends in the program that they wouldn't otherwise see. It's also a place with qualified people around to watch them and care for them so they don't have to be stuck at home all the time. If you had ever actually stepped foot in one of these facilities you would realize that they are not "sweatshops" in any sense of the word. That is just absurd.

          Let's make one thing clear. These programs are NOT making Goodwill any money. They are COSTING them money. Lots of it. We aren't talking about people who are working in the stores here. We're talking about severely mentally disabled people.

          Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

          by Deathtongue on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:27:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  JesseCW, how about a parent???? RE: (8+ / 0-)
          I wouldn't expect a friend desperate to maintain your good opinion to say anything else.
          You are not getting it.  

          These are not sweatshops.

          The DD/ID population being referenced do not have the ability to volunteer or work or earn a living or live without close supervision.

          This DD/ID population "work" a couple of hours a day once or twice a week.

          There would be nothing at all for these individuals if these opportunities were taken away.  NOTHING for the rest of their lives.

          As a parent, as an advocate, as a human being your words are scaring the shite out of me...making me wonder how vast is the number of beings who think the same way.

          Lala land is someone telling me, the parent of a human being born with profound DD/ID, that he can just go volunteer somewhere or find employment that will sustain him for life.  When he does not & never will have the abilities nor the stamina to do so in a meaningful way.

          Fight for the least amongst us in ways that will truly make a difference-across diversity of strengths & needs.  Fight hard, but understand what you are fighting for.

      •  I understand the community day care part (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        second gen, JesseCW, FloridaSNMOM

        but making those CEO's fatter is imo not acceptable.  
        It is not  acceptable to give these folks the impression that they are employed.  Call it what it is and then it would be fine.  Adult day care or as I said therapy for the unemployable but there is some bucks being made at the top for these people.. I am all for people contributing for their own self esteem but  just call it what it is so someone else is not benefiting from their unfortunate circumstances.
        My guestion would be is there insurance policies like life on these folks... Are they being epected to do consistently what they have done on a good day in the past.  This is certainly not black or white from an independent self help project but again I say....there are things I feel that are unethical by the very labeling of piece miling.  

        Yes..it gets them out of the house.  Yes it occupies their time.  Bottom line...time is money.  The other thing is keeping them at such a low wage it does not interfere with their disabiity compensation and that is good but all and all it should be called something other that what it is and someone at the top needs to see how that bookkeeping in the CEO's favor is a benefit.  This company is not the first to hire the disabled.. The VA is full of disabled employees but they are compensated .. If these folks did nothing but sit there all day...they are willing and for that they should be compensated.  Who is deciding what good enough for fair wage is?   I am sorry but I see the good image that is presented but again ...someone is making money.  I never agreed with donations and then them selling in the first place.   I don't do Goodwill.  When something is donated ..It should be donated to the needy.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:34:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And if they make bracelets sold at the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          second gen, Cassandra Waites

          counter of Goodwill stores to support that adult day care program because they want to and it's a fun craft activity, I will have no problem at all with that.

          Of course, the book will have to show money goes to their benefit.

          It's so clear how this would operate if their best interest were the guiding principle.

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:59:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Re (3+ / 0-)
          but making those CEO's fatter is imo not acceptable.  
          If the CEO of Goodwill wanted to get "fatter", his first act would be to fire every one of these people and dispense with the expense and pain of running these types of programs.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 07:20:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly right! (9+ / 0-)

        Man, this is incredibly frustrating, people really do not understand what these programs are about at all. Very sad... arg. Goodwill does excellent work and provides excellent services to people with major disabilities, who LOVE having these jobs - which are essentially invented for them, and believe me there would be less expensive ways of doing the same tasks. Supervisors/helpers have to be employed to allow many of these individuals to have any job at all, and it means the world to them. They don't even care about money and many don't even understand it, but they love going to their job and feeling like they have an important role to play.

      •  Lonely Liberal in PA, thank you for these truths. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lilypew, Diogenes2008, badscience
        Shutting these things down doesn't mean these folks are going to go out and get jobs.  Because nobody would hire them.  These are cases of severe enough mental or physical handicaps that they're otherwise unemployable--or the Goodwill job coaches would have found them another job.
        What your friend forgot to add is how decades long a battle it was to achieve these small successes or larger ones such as federal mandates regarding school, workplace, accessibility.

        Thank you for adding your voice to light.

    •  Oh vetwife, if only my child were able to ask (9+ / 0-)

      & fucking comprehend a wage difference.

      It is explotation in the worst way..Making someone feel they fit in and then they talk to people making 10 an hour at another business and they find out how exploited they are.
      You are talking about human beings that perhaps cannot talk, cannot optimally use limbs, cannot cognitively understand or process simple tasks or executive functioning or have the stamina to do tasks for very long.

      You are talking about human beings that only work a couple of hours a day maybe a couple of days a week.

      You are talking about human beings who feel empowered by having a "job" or the opportunity to use skills that may take decades to learn.

      •  I get that worldlotus but pay them (0+ / 0-)

        or call it what it is.  A day care facility for the disabled.
        I didn't say stop it but stop with the stopwatches unless every single person is under a stopwatch mandate.  Making a person feel useful is VERY good but if and this is If someone is making money off a disadvantaged person it is wrong......I never ever believed in donations being sold.
        Ever !  Anywhere.  But that is just me.  They provide a place for donations.. OK..pay the overhead of facility and cashier a minimum wage but no profit should be made from donations.. Our little org never had a chance because we never paid..not even me.. It is about giving not making a profit.  

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 07:13:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well not a cashier but a person to take the info (0+ / 0-)

          and give..like the foodbanks....A person sorting should be paid.....and yes these folks are unemployable but they could still feel useful and be given something other than pennies for their time.  Do they provide picnics and outings for these folks.. I doubt it but the fat cat at the top is giving them a place to go and feel useful....Why not give them clothes or a minimum wage?   The stress they must feel being under a stopwatch is not helpful to their constant demotion of what they are capable of doing.  Call it Respite for Caregivers.. But words mean accountability.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 07:17:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Vetwife, I don't have any personal (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bkamr, worldlotus, Vetwife, guyeda

          experience with severely disabled adults nor have I worked with or for Goodwill. This discussion is really interesting to me within the context of labor and income inequality, global labor, corporate malfeasance and other issues that are near and dear to the Kos community.

          I've been trying to learn a little more about Goodwill Industries, and from what I can see, the organization is a network of independent "franchises" so to speak, so they are fairly local in their scope. Teh Wikipedia says that over 80% of their revenue globally goes back to job training. Charity Watch gives Goodwill an A (but you have to be a Charity Watch member to actually view ratings, and I am not a member, so I have to take Wikipedia's word for it).

          I am not clear yet on the profit status of Goodwill Industries as a whole, but at least some of the regional orgs appear to be not-for-profit.

          While issues of executive compensation are almost ALWAYS an issue, I am not convinced that the executives are profiting from the low wages of Goodwill's most disabled employees.

          I would appreciate more insights into how the "stopwatch" metrics are used in the workshop environment to determine pay. The article that inspired this diary seems somewhat sensationalist in nature.

          •  I am open to seeing how the profits and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            badscience

            stopwatch work as well.. Thanks to you and worldlotus..

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:49:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  badscience re this: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            guyeda, Diogenes2008, Oh Mary Oh
            I would appreciate more insights into how the "stopwatch" metrics are used in the workshop environment to determine pay.
            I do not have knowledge of Goodwill Industries internal practices.  I do have rudimentary knowledge of the the reasoning behind the use of a stop watch with individuals with DD/ID.

            So I am guessing that the stopwatch is merely a tool used to assess.

            Much like a coach or an individual using a stopwatch to gauge best or average times in running.

            Each individual with DD/ID that works in places like Goodwill is typically placed through a community or state organization that specializes in provider services.

            Provider services of this nature work exclusively with individuals with varying degrees of disabilities.  Individuals are assessed (tested) using scientifically based tools.

             From these assessments & from interviews & from observation, the strengths & needs of each individual is documented.

            Then individualized life goals are written-with criteria specified- based on the assessment results. The goals include job & leisure activities.  

            Data is collected on each goal-which is imperative in order to provide optimal training & outcomes & services.

            When one has had no exposure to the life or teaching methodologies of those with DD/ID, it is understandable that some things may seem alien or questionable.

            Critical thinking would show that in order to measure how many shirts are hung in a given time frame & how long the entire task breakdown took requires a measuring device for reasons of accuracy.

            The info gathered in data collection could then be used to re-think additional training or job placement, highlight health/stamina issues, re-think criteria, provide the info necessary for being paid the correct amount, etc.

            I am guessing that the stopwatch is merely used as a tool that gathers information for data collection.  If a stopwatch is being used in this manner for these individuals then it is in no way heinous but a necessity.

            The article that inspired this diary seems somewhat sensationalist in nature.
            I so agree & am very unclear as to the purpose of the article.
            •  Thank you for this explanation. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              guyeda, worldlotus, Oh Mary Oh

              In a workplace with non-disabled adults, a "stopwatch" metric would be very stressful to the workers (and such things are absolutely in place: software that measures keystrokes, speed of conveyer belts, amount of material to be processed per hour etc).

              In the Goodwill environment, it doesn't sound as if it is that way at all for those disabled workers.

              If it is a training environment, there needs to be metrics for measurement in place. It seems like there are many disabled workers who can move up the chain into full-time minimum-wage or more work. It also seems like there are many disabled workers who simply cannot, but that the work environment that they experience at Goodwill is extremely beneficial to them irrespective of pay or promotion.

              I totally get that our society functions around the notion of paid work and that to severely disabled adults who cannot be self-supporting for many many reasons, or even understand the "value" of their labor in wage terms, absolutely DO understand the value of their labor in societal or cultural terms, as well as understanding the value of the social interaction in the workplace. I don't know why this must then be considered "exploitive" or "condescending" to the disabled adults in question. A lot of commenters seem to think so.

  •  I used to give to Goodwill, (7+ / 0-)

    then learned it was a for profit "charity", which seems just wrong to me.
    Now support others such as St. Vinnies, that as far as I know is a real charity.

    Severely Socialist 47283

    by ichibon on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:58:49 PM PDT

  •  Soooo... (0+ / 0-)

    what next? Maybe they take the charity public on the stock exchange?

    Don't laugh, they just might.

    "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side."~Little Ricky Santorum

    by Dahankster on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:04:35 PM PDT

  •  Goodwill will just not hire disabled persons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus

    that can't function on the level of minimum wage worker.  

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    by thestructureguy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:06:56 PM PDT

  •  This is shocking. (0+ / 0-)

    A couple months ago, I was trying to get rid of an old computer chair with torn, dirty upholstery. Goodwill was one of the places I called to see if they'd be interested in picking up this chair. I was told, "Sorry, we don't refurbish old furniture anymore, because it's too costly for us." Hmmm.

    I like it when diaries like this dig into the practices of charities and nonprofits that rely on their name recognition, for the most part, to get a free "pass."

    Thanks.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:17:28 PM PDT

    •  Lots of people take advantage of Goodwill leaving (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, Debby, karmsy

      Goodwill holding the bag when they 'donate' stuff that Goodwill will have to pay to to haul to the landfill because no one will buy it.

      If you wanted you could re-furbish the chair and then give it to Goodwill.

      give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

      by 88kathy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:10:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, going on admittedly (0+ / 0-)

        sketchy information, gained by putting this diary together with my phone conversation with Goodwill, I'd thought they had some sort of budget from which to pay workers to perform this service.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 05:47:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it is more likely that broken furniture (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karmsy, Oh Mary Oh

          is genuinely more expensive to repair than it can be sold for.

          Have you tried to repair shoes lately? Most ordinary shoes can't be repaired or would be twice the price to repair than to be replaced.

          That is the kind of stuff Goodwill has to work with - office furniture from big box stores as opposed to Herman Miller. I have purchased much used Herman Miller furniture and it is worth it. Very well made and very expensive new.

    •  Why would you expect Goodwill to fix your broken (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kentucky Kid, worldlotus, karmsy

      furniture?

      Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

      by Deathtongue on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:31:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did something new happen with this story? (0+ / 0-)

    I see from the text that you were late to the original story, implying there's more now?

     Is there more news on this? Thanks.

  •  Not the Whole Story... (11+ / 0-)

    There are many different "Goodwills,"  and it is important to gave a clear understanding about this and the different missions and operating procedures of these different Goodwills before going off half-cocked.  

    In most states there are several to numerous separate non-profit corporations covering a particular territory within each state.  Each has a separate mission.  Some do very little with people with developmental disabilities, and their mission may be completely different.

    Those whose mission involves serving people with developmental disabilities go about it differently.  Some have a "workshop" model and pay sub-minimum wage.  However, many Goodwills have moved away from that model and have a "supported employment" model, where the priority is to find work for people with disabilities in the community (either at a Goodwill facility or at another community business) at least at minimum wage and usually more.

    Before cutting off your donations, it might serve you to do a bit more research.

  •  Perhaps this will help further understanding & (26+ / 0-)

    specific advocacy action.

    I read the piece.

     For 16 years, I've been the parent of a being born with and living with disabilities.

    Prior to becoming mama to this little prince, for over 15 years, I taught the very young at a non profit center dedicated to those with ID & other disabilities of all ages.

    Early in my employment, I was appalled & righteous when I discovered that those who "worked" within the sheltered workshop only made pennies a day.  

    So I marched my hinney into the executive director's office & demanded to know why. The director took the time to explain why the "wages" were only pennies, that every pay cheque would reflect a different amount from individual to individual & month to month.

    I thought I understood & was satisfied with the explanations given.

    Flash forward over 30 years.  During this time I have watched the kiddos I taught become young adults.  I have witnessed a society & a government either struggle & fight for laws & funding for those with disabilities or forgotten them completely (or so it seems)

    I eventually set aside the shoes of an educator & walked in the shoes of a parent.  

    What I thought I understood before walking this walk, I have realized a gazillion times over the past 16 years that I had only a rudimentary understanding.

    16 years later & my little prince is now considered an adult at age 18.  When he leaves school, perhaps he will be able to work at a Goodwill for a few hours a day-if there is an opening.  Or in a sheltered workshop- if there is an opening.  Or another company that has been begged-recruited by a school system or state vocational center to be a part of a solution.

    Wherever he or any with significant developmental disability works, it is imperative that their wages are low enough to not impact any Social Security benefits that they receive.  Which is typically SSI.  

    Earn too much or have too many assets, SSI is decreased or cut off.  Without SSI, Medicaid is lost.

    Parents grow old & die. Perhaps there are no sibs or relatives to support the individual with disability.

    Typically, the only source of funds available to live on for this population is Social Security.  If they live in an institution, all but $30 of their SS benefit goes to the institution.  Institution can mean nursing home or other specialized facility or hospital.  Probably the same if living in a group home setting.

    Realistically, there is no way that these individuals with significant DD/ID can earn the monies required to sustain them in life & for life.

    When kiddos with developmental disabilities enter middle school, pre-vocational trainings begin & is the focus (unless a parent raises hell...).

     By age 14 or upon entering 9th grade, a transition plan is required to be in place that provides optimal goals towards a successful adult transition.  

    Typically, at age 18, the kiddo will "graduate" from high school and enter job training (with a coach) until age 22.

    Throughout this entire period of time, the kiddos are supposed to also be educated in a least restrictive environment.  Provided with community opportunities-such as volunteer & leisure activities.

    When an individual with disability becomes an adult, there will be (should be) an individualized service plan in place.  Which means that each pay cheque earned or job site utilyzed or service provided is individualized for that person's strengths & needs.

    Keep in mind that someone recruits job sites, learns the job at each site, breaks down the job into incremental steps before the individual with a disability steps foot onsite.  Each individual's financial circumstances are considered when determining a pay scale.  Each individual is transported to & from the job site.  Each individual is then trained-step by step- how to perform whatever job they are doing-multiple times as needed.

    When you read articles such as this keep all this in mind as well as the fact that the individuals being served by places such as sheltered workshops or Good Will do not have the abilities to work independently nor at a more skilled job.

    Their slightly higher functioning peers are the individuals you might see working independently bagging groceries or busing tables or folding laundry at the Marriott.

    Their higher functioning peers are in college or gainfully employed & you won't even (hopefully) notice them.

    This article should serve to awaken.  To the needs of an invisible but huge population in this nation.  

    Needs that include wait lists for services so lengthy that many parents are being told to place their child on the wait list at birth- for services needed 18-22 years later!

    Waitlists for housing.  Lack of funding.  Lack of services.  Lack of opportunities.  Lack of supports, providers,  staff.  Etc.

    Annually, a book is published "State of the States in Developmental Disabilities" that provides information state by state in all areas that impact those with ID/DD in the US.  

    From services to funding to state spending & everything in between.  I've obtained mine via David Braddock, PhD at the Coleman Institute of Cognitive Disabilities University of Colorado.

    Read it & weep.
    And perhaps, act.  And not against the Good Will type entities.  They are not part of the problem for this population.

  •  Reading some of the comments, I am thinking (11+ / 0-)

    that there is a conflict based on understanding that there are many diverse populations within the disability community-specifically those with DD/ID.

    I am not clear as to the purpose of the article cited in the diary.  Unless it is to highlight the salaries of head cheeses at Goodwill as opposed to highlighting the inherent good done for a particular population that they provide services for.

    There is a critical lack of services and funding and housing in this country for the DD/ID population.

    There are few businesses or job providers that are willing to step up to the plate-to take a chance-for those with significant DD/ID.  The few that do, such as Goodwill, should be supported, strengthened & commended.

    Lastly, the adults in this particular DD/ID population that I have personally known have been extremely proud of their "jobs" & their pay cheques.  They felt empowered & valued-whether they hung one shirt or 20 or none at all.

    Neither they nor their parents have felt exploited.  Some were old enough to remember when there were no opportunities or services at all & how long they advocated & fought for what is in place now.

    I'd like to suggest that those reading the article not focus on the salaries of either the head cheeses or the employees.  

    Instead, become familiar with the vast diversity within the disability community, what is required & how long to reach the point of being able to "hang up a shirt" & how earned income affects those that depend on Social Security benefits.

    Then take action.  I doubt it would be against the entities such as Goodwill.

    However, if it is, please take a moment to understand what unintended consequences may result from any action against the Goodwills of this world.

  •  I shop at Goodwill as I buy most of our clothes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bkamr, worldlotus, guyeda

    secondhand and I also always scour the secondhand stores for household goods, etc.

    At Goodwill one constantly hears recorded announcements explaining that the money resulting from purchases, helps go toward training people and getting them jobs and productive lives in the community.

    The discussions in this thread have been very enlightening to me, but also very confusing.

    Enlightening as I understand better some of what Goodwill does with regard to adults with developmental disabilities.

    But confusing, as it seems that what Goodwill is doing is not training them for productive lives and jobs in the community.

    I'm just not sure that what Goodwill is claiming in its in-store recorded announcements, matches what has been explained in the comments thread here.  It's not that Goodwill's work with disabled persons is bad or unnecessary or anything like that-- I think it must do amazing work.  It's just that I don't understand the "finding employment and leading productive lives part", because that doesn't seem to be what Goodwill does according to the discussion here.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 03:32:27 AM PDT

    •  Perhaps there are some disabled workers (5+ / 0-)

      that have the abilities to move to non-Goodwill jobs, and this is a job training program for them.

      It sounds like there are many levels of work and mentoring that go on in the institution. Some of the workers are simply not able to move into full-time paid work ever in their lives. These would not be the workers that you see in the shop.

      •  Okay, so the workers that we see in the shop, (0+ / 0-)

        do they have developmental disabilities?  Are they being trained by Goodwill for employment?

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 04:17:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It probably depends very much on the specific (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh

          shop and the specific individual. Since the Goodwills are all run locally, they may well have different structures in place. They certainly have different client pools.

          I don't say this from personal expertise but from a reading of the articles, researching Goodwill, and reading comments from folks here who have the personal expertise:

          If disabled adults are working the shop with customers, then they are not the disabled adults who are making "3 cents/hour" cited in the article. Those disabled adults would not be able to interface with the public or perform the tasks necessary to work in the shop.

          If disabled adults are working in the shop, they are probably similarly abled to the disabled adults that work in grocery stores and other service venues. They would, indeed, be able to get training that helps them move into other employment.

          When I've been at my local Goodwill, I haven't felt comfortable making judgements about someone's disability based upon my superficial interactions with them. They might be. They might not be. Disabilities are not always immediately apparent.

    •  concernedamerican, it is my understanding that (6+ / 0-)

      Goodwill & similar entities also provides training for the able bodied who need to build skills for employment.  This would include all those disenfranchised by life circumstances.

      With regards to individuals born with disabilities, those with the most significant DD (developmental disabilities) & ID (intellectual disabilities) typically require simple tasks that are broken down into incremental stages to accomplish.

      I know that the concept is difficult to visualize or comprehend but it can take decades to teach an individual with significant DD/ID something as simple as hanging a shirt (or even put on a shirt).  By necessity, training or exposure to training is a lifelong requirement for these individuals.

      To simplify visualization, think about an able bodied individual suffering a stroke that has left them without speech, the ability to use a limb, lost the ability to use executive functioning.  

      This stroke has rendered this individual trapped.  Without intensive training, therapies, task breakdown, this individual would no longer be able to brush their teeth, get dressed, go potty or be employed, etc.

      In actuality, there is very little difference between those with DD/ID & those living with Alzheimer or recovering from a stroke.  

      The major differences is that one population has had the advantage of having skillsets, living & knowing life pre stroke & pre Alzheimers.  

      Wheras the other population never had this advantage & must learn (starting at birth) what comes naturally with the able bodied.  Along with the caveat that most will have a set point regarding skill acquisition that cannot be overcome.

      That major difference along with society's perceptions.

      •  Thank you again for your patient and detailed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, Diogenes2008, Oh Mary Oh

        explanation of what these disabled adults face in their lives and the intensive structure and training they need to be successful within the scope of their disabilities.

        I have been reading up a bit on Goodwill thanks to this. They have just launched a new program to help women vets enter the workforce after they leave combat. Seems worthy to me. Clearly these women are going to be receiving training and compensation in line with their abilities and I would imagine Goodwill's goal is to move them into the labor market outside of Goodwill.

  •  There is plenty of productivity at Goodwill (0+ / 0-)

    And the people who are disabled often need monitoring, which does cost money.  It is complex, but I feel that Goodwill IS taking advantage by not paying more.
    For this reason, in part, I am about to launch a new website where people can sell and buy other folks gently used children's items, and when they sell a box of stuff, they are invited to donate, only if they wish, a portion of the sale to a selection of A rated charities, most of which benefit children.

    Goodwill is not among them.

    I have other reasons for going forward with this concept too.  An interest in fostering a way for parents to have less child rearing expenses and find ways to consume less products that are new in favor of the gently used, is one, I think, important reason.  Kids outgrow stuff so quickly, and many parents are constantly wondering where the next set of clothes and toys is coming from.  If people are going to give stuff away, why shouldn't they have choices on who to donate money to, or have the ability to make a few bucks off of something somebody else, maybe on the other side of the country, can use?

    •  Is Goodwill not among your charities (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, Oh Mary Oh

      because it is not A-rated (although teh Wikipedia says that Charity Watch rates it an A, I can't verify as a non-member of Charity Watch), or because it doesn't primarily benefit children (which it doesn't - it is for disabled adults)?

      Do you plan to make money from the sales on your website? Or is the website funded in other ways (advertising, contributions)? Is your website a not-for-profit charity? Or a business?

      •  Goodwill is not among them (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexandra Lynch, badscience

        because anybody can give to Goodwill, at any time, and I want to provide an opportunity for people to easily, and as a community, give to other A or A plus rated charities.  Goodwill isn't on the list for that reason, and also, because of what they are paying the people they hire.

        I don't know if you have ever run a website, but unless you are a programming genius, and even if you are, there is a lot of back end labor that goes into it.  I am doing this as a business, and we at this point do not charge for a listing, but do charge a commission upon a sale.

        I hope to also have some ad sales, but this is all new to me, so I will have to see how it goes.  

        As to the charities, the plan is that people can give as little or as much of the proceeds they get from the sale of a box, up to all the money due to them, to that selection of charities I was talking about.  Many small donations from lots of people can add up, and we will hopefully be writing some significant checks to charities like ChildFind, and FeedtheChildren America, Reading is Fundamental, Futures for Children.  There are three animal charities in the mix as well, Petsmart, the Guide Dog Foundation, and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.  We selected, in all, a dozen charities from Charity Watch, and may add more if people want them.

        I'm certainly not against donating for disabled adults, but feel that there is more room in what choices people should have if they are donating.  

        In addition, I want to serve the people who cannot afford new things for the next stage of growth for their child.  People can use the site to be ahead of the curve for the next needs of the child, be it toys, clothes, books, games, shoes, coats, etc..  The site is designed to break up items into age and gender, so if your kid is turning 5, and is a girl, you can start there.  It is designed as a form of recycling, turning gently used items into donations or cash, that otherwise would be just given away or forgotten in the back of the closet until they had to be donated en mass.  

        When a person puts together a "box of stuff" they do it by age and gender as well, though we have some experimental categories for gender-neutral stuff.  This makes it easy to decide what goes in the box, keeping size and child development needs in mind.

        •  Thank you for your detailed response (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh

          about your project.

          Curating A rated charities for donations is an interesting idea and it allows people to pool their contributions through the site. Particularly since those charities don't deal in second-hand clothing donations. :-)

          If you're considering animal welfare charities, you might want to look more into PetSmart the corporation. A lot of animal rescuers and animal welfare advocates generally don't support pet stores that sell live animals. I understand that the charitable organization is separate from the corporation, but it is worth looking at.

          This site is about cruelty at PetSmart and PETCO and not about the charity. I personally feel pretty strongly about animal abuse in the pet trade, and would probably pick a different charity for my money. I usually give to local rescues, but things like Gorilla Fund or other animal welfare charities not linked to live animal sales would also be of interest. You may feel differently about it.

          •  I will definitely check out your link. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            badscience, Oh Mary Oh

            Thanks so much!  They are A-rated, but that is about the percentage of money which goes to administration, vs what goes to the actual charity.  not about the things you mention.

            Definitely worth considering.

            Once again, I appreciate it.

          •  I'm glad you like the idea! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            badscience, Oh Mary Oh

            It all came about quite organically.  I have a friend who has done a lot of work for the Down's Syndrome Foundation, and in watching her efforts, and talking with her as she planned an event to benefit the foundation, she inspired me to add charitable giving to the mix.  Once that concept was implanted, it just seemed like a natural fit.

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