Urge Goodwill Industries to Stop Paying Disabled Workers Less Than Minimum Wage


Target: Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

Goal: Demand that Goodwill Industries stops paying less than minimum wage to thousands of workers with disabilities while executives make millions every year

Goodwill Industries, the multi-billion dollar nonprofit company known for employing people with disabilities and providing a service to local communities, has recently come under fire. Goodwill was discovered to be paying thousands of disabled employees nationwide hourly wages under the national minimum. While employees with disabilities are getting paid low wages, some even as low as 22-cents an hour, company executives are making millions of dollars. Goodwill is able to do this because of a 75-year-old legal loophole, but this violation of civil rights cannot go on any longer.

Since its start in 1902, Goodwill Industries has become known as one of the most popular charities in the world.  It provides employment for people with disabilities as well as helping low income people in local communities get affordable clothing and other necessities. Because of section 14 of the Fair Labor Standards Act, known as the Special Wage Certificate Program, employers can pay workers with disabilities according to their abilities without any minimum to the hourly wage amount. Goodwill has been taking advantage of this loophole for years. Nonprofits holding this certificate are able to get away with paying workers hourly wages as low as 22 cents because they can make a judgement as to how much work the disabled employee is actually able to perform.

While these honest workers are being drastically underpaid, executives in the company are being paid six and even seven figure annual salaries. Not only is this unfair to the people who work hard despite their physical and mental limitations, but it is a direct violation of basic civil rights. This unjust practice has gone on far too long, and these employees deserve to be paid fair wages for the work that they’re doing. Sign this petition to demand that Goodwill Industries International, Inc. stops paying disabled employees outrageously low hourly wages and starts treating these hard working people with the respect they deserve.


Dear Goodwill Industries,

Recently, reports have surfaced that your organization is paying thousands of workers with disabilities wages that are far less than the national minimum, with some workers being paid as little as 22-cents an hour. This practice is able to occur because of an old legal loophole, and while what you’re doing may not be illegal, it is certainly not ethical. A person with a disability, regardless of their physical and/or mental limitations, is just as much an asset to society as someone without a disability, and they should be treated as such. While executives at your organization are making millions of dollars a year, your honest hard working employees are struggling to support themselves financially, which adds to the overall stress that already comes with living with any type of disability.

Not only is this treatment unfair, but it is also very clearly a direct violation of civil rights. I am signing this petition to demand that you take an honest look at what you are doing, observe the effect it is having on the people who work for your organization, and take the initiative to do the right thing by paying your disabled workers fair wages.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mel B. via Flickr

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131 Signatures

  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • sheila childs
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • jeff hopkins
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Holly Hall
  • Frédérique Pommarat
  • Marianne Oelman
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