Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Update on NFB's Boycot of Goodwill Industries.

FYI: The following was sent to a staff member in the office of every member of the U.S. House of Representatives. -----Original Message----- From: Lewis, Anil Sent: Friday, June 15, 2012 12:29 PM To: Lewis, Anil Subject: Update on Goodwill Boycott, Fair Wages, and Supporting Organizations Good afternoon, I wanted to be sure that you are aware that the National Federation of the Blind announced a boycott of Goodwill Industries, demanding that Goodwill discontinue its practice of paying less than the federal minimum wage to workers with disabilities. Our boycott is a public awareness campaign, as well as a catalyst for systemic change that will pave the way for the elimination of Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The general public is largely unaware that Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to obtain a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor that allows them to pay less than the minimum wage to their employees with disabilities. We chose to boycott this high-profile employer of people with disabilities to make the public aware of this unfair, discriminatory, and immoral practice. We have already received calls and emails from individuals across the country expressing their outrage and disgust with Goodwill's use of this antiquated practice. Almost two-thirds of Goodwill's affiliates already compensate their workers with disabilities at the federal minimum wage or higher. Goodwill affiliates have therefore already demonstrated that they can sustain their business while fairly compensating their workers with disabilities. In light of the continued success of Goodwill affiliates and other entities that remain viable without exploiting their disabled workforce, it is simply irresponsible and inexcusable for the remaining Goodwill affiliates, or any other employers of workers with disabilities, to continue the outdated, discriminatory practice of paying their disabled workers subminimum wages. Our goal is to compel Goodwill to adopt a fair wages policy that guarantees at least the federal minimum wage to each of its workers with disabilities. Once Goodwill does so, others will follow. With respect to H.R. 3086, the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011, we are up to 47 supporting organizations and 78 cosponsors. Last week the National Council on Disability voted to approve a recommendation to phase out the exemption in Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. To our cosponsors, we appreciate your steadfast support and look forward to the day when people with disabilities are valued as equals in the workplace, allowed to fully participate in their communities, and paid fair wages. Sincerely, Mr. Anil Lewis, M.P.A. Director of Strategic Communications "Eliminating Subminimum Wages for People with Disabilities" NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place Baltimore, Maryland 21230 (410) 659-9314 ext. 2374 (Voice) (410) 685-5653 (FAX) Email: Web:

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