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

  1. #31
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I'd be willing to part with some of my wage to at least pay them equally.
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  2. #32
    Senior Member flicka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
    The laws need to change.
    I don't think it's legislation. It's a program within the nonprofit sector. Of course that doesn't mean it can't be changed, but look at the churches somehow skirting the nonpolitical status. The non profit businesses are probably much more corrupt than for profit organizations.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member flicka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    I'd be willing to part with some of my wage to at least pay them equally.
    Another reason why you and I will never be rich.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flicka View Post
    I don't think it's legislation. It's a program within the nonprofit sector. Of course that doesn't mean it can't be changed, but look at the churches somehow skirting the nonpolitical status. The non profit businesses are probably much more corrupt than for profit organizations.
    That's the thing, it is legislation, because the laws that regulate non-profits are what allow this kind of stuff to occur. Too much leeway. Just another legal loophole exploited by a non-profit...

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

    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 pay disabled workers according to their abilities, with no bottom limit to the wage.
    [Source]
    Last edited by Scorpion; 06-23-2013 at 09:50 PM. Reason: Added quotes, etc...

  5. #35
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crypticgimp View Post
    exactly. i hate the "but they are happy" if they are happy, great, but still deserve regular pay.
    Yeah, lots of people love their jobs, but that doesn't mean they should be paid less.

  6. #36
    Senior Member flicka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
    Just another legal loophole exploited by a non-profit...
    I'm getting a lil nervous about the state of our union right now (break out the tinfoil). Bank of America is still tied to the Bank of Italy who froze citizens accounts years ago. They notified customers of the impending freeze, but a majority of the bank's customers failed to read the small print.

    When's the last time we saw a pope step down?
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  7. #37
    We have an issue in Aussieland with our disabled workers too.

    The government wants to bring in equal pay for disabled persons, particularly people who work in, disgracefully named, sheltered workshops. The people that work in these places generally have intellectual disabilities etc. and are paid way under minimum wage.

    These workshops used to be run by charities with little money who wanted kids to experience work and being paid, but typical of the money grubbing fucks who seems to abound these days, some well connected business men managed to swing these little workshops over to their control post privatisation of the 90's to utilise this pool of dirt cheap local workers to manufacture all sorts of stuff.

    Now, of course, the pricks that run these workshops are crying foul that they wont be able to "help" disabled kids any more because the nasty government wants equal pay for these kids.

    When I was a kid I was almost thrown into this type of work because I was showing some symptoms of my beckars MD, it was the 80's a lot of kids in my situation did indeed get treated like they had an intellectual disability.

    I landed work with an old printing business in my home town and the boss did treat me like i was retarded and often made reference to his business being a sheltered workshop. I woke up and left that place to train as a building designer and its paid off....these days, anyone who complains about my $75 per hour can get the fuck out of my face!...no minimum wage for this "retard". lol.

    back to topic...yeah fuck that, pay disabled workers the same as their able bod co-workers!
    "The problem with self improvement is knowing when to quit." "Diamond" David Lee Roth.

  8. #38
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
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    Let me begin by saying that I once worked in the office of a facility that operated on this minimum wage exemption law. This facility had over 300 people with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries and, by the way, was a fantastic place to work. It was a day facility where the ‘clients’ were dropped off at 8am and were picked up at 5pm and had three different departments: education, on-site workfloor, and off-site work placement.
    Education: There were classes throughout the day taught by staff members. Classes ranged form cooking to art to yoga to basic social skills.
    On-site workfloor: There was an attached warehouse where clients would work assembling and picking. You know how you see stuffed animals with clothes on? Packages with screws or hooks in them? We assembled those.
    Off-site work placement: If a client is high-functioning enough they are tested and trained and sent out into the workforce. They can be dishwashers in resturants, work for cleaning services, or any other number of low-skill, ‘invisible’ positions. The salon where I used to get my hair cut employed someone from our workcenter. She would sweep up hair and replenish towels.


    Now let me say that I believe this law is fair.

    Passing a law closing this ‘loophole’ and requiring that everyone to be paid minimum wage would put hundreds of thousands of disabled people out of work. Why would a company hire a disabled worker to assemble 5 items per hour when it could pay the same rate for a non-disabled worker who could assemble 70 items per hour? If the cost is the same the work will be given to the more productive employee. This is how a capitalist society operates. Why would we fault a company for maximizing their investment? I’ve been on the workfloor and have seen people with severe Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Autism work. If you were to watch them work next to an AB worker it would seem unfair if they DID get paid the same.

    And as side notes:
    -Yes, the company I worked for received government money and private donations. This is because the product the workfloor is producing cannot financially support the needs of the facility. And because our clients had severe developmental disabilities we needed to have a nurse on-site as well as certified and licensed social workers, psychiatrists, and other staff specially trained to work with our clientele. It’s not a cheap operation and putting together packets of screws and zip ties is not going to pay for all that.
    -Yes, our CEO made a few hundred thousand dollars per year. But he had college degrees and an MBA. He runs a multi-million dollar company and works hard to earn donations, grants, and to publicize the company so that it can gain new customers and so more of his clients can work off-site. He is being paid what he’s worth. If the CEO salary were cut, say, by 40% he would leave and the company would have a very difficult time finding qualified candidates and staying competitive. If the company is not competitive, disabled people will be out of work.

    So instead of all the unconstructive outrage how about a real economical discussion? How do you suggest we solve this problem? Again, equal pay would put hundreds of thousands of disabled people out of work. That’s fact. So what’s your idea?

    My opinion is that the law is fair. But If I had to propose a solution it would be to have the government subsidize each worker’s paycheck to bring it to state minimum wage thresholds. But how well do you think that would sit with taxpayers and politicians? Do you think our conservative house and struggling middle class would jump on the idea of giving a ‘handout’ to some disabled kid that can’t keep up?

    What’s your solution?

  9. #39
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    So instead of all the unconstructive outrage how about a real economical discussion?
    "Unconstructive outrage"?!

    Southern plantation owners fought against ending slavery because of "real economic" issues.

    Your arguments are not about a "real economic discussion" but rather a bullshit set of excuses for exploiting these people, the same kind of excuses slave owners used, the same kind of excuses sweatshops in third world countries use.

    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    My opinion is that the law is fair. But If I had to propose a solution it would be to have the government subsidize each worker’s paycheck to bring it to state minimum wage thresholds. But how well do you think that would sit with taxpayers and politicians? Do you think our conservative house and struggling middle class would jump on the idea of giving a ‘handout’ to some disabled kid that can’t keep up?
    One, if you think it's fair, then you're just being flippant with your offering of a solution, because you don't believe these people deserve minimum wage anyway. Two, saying something would be tough to get passed in the conservative House, or the struggling middle class not wanting to give "a ‘handout’ to some disabled kid that can’t keep up" is more bullshit excuses for defending the status quo.

    Outrage? Yes. Unconstructive outrage? Please. Your attitude is the same disgusting attitude that had to be fought against so that people like you and I could actually get real jobs and not be shut away, an attitude that would have been exploiting you if you'd been born and injured decades ago, if you weren't shut away in your family's back room. There's nothing "fair" about this, and the only reason people think it's fair is because of looking at people with mental disabilities as "less than".

    Answer this: Would you be defending these slave wages for people who were SCI'd but not not mentally disabled? Should a C-3 quad on a vent just accept pennies on the dollar because he "can't keep up"? Or should we, as a society, find better ways for people to be fairly compensated with what they can do? Shouldn't we demand that those organizations claiming to be helping the disabled actually help them and not exploit them?
    Last edited by Scorpion; 06-24-2013 at 01:43 AM. Reason: Edited to add more outrage.

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