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.
"If they really do pay the CEO of Goodwill three-quarters of a million dollars, they certainly can pay me more than they're paying," said Harold Leigland, who is legally blind and hangs clothes at a Goodwill in Great Falls, Montana for less than minimum wage.
Disabled workers paid just pennies an hour – and it's legal
Critics cry exploitation as a federal loophole allows companies to pay thousands of disabled workers across the country far less than the minimum wage. Harry Smith's full report airs Friday, June 21 at 10pm/9CDT on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams.
By Anna Schecter, Producer