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Robert Winner

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Should the Fair Labor Standards Act be updated.

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.

This came to light with Goodwill Industries paying disable employees 22 cents a hour ..... legaly. The article on MSN News.com stated that most non profit charities are doing the same thing but did not name any others than Goodwill.

The question is: Should this be revised? If it is would the disabled lose jobs? What are options that should or could be considered?

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    Jun 24 2013: Equal pay for equal work should not only include gender, race, religion, but also disability.
    Many times a person’s health issue does not affect their productivity, yet their employers take advantage and pay them less.
    This is a big issue, and should not be taken lightly.
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    Jun 22 2013: Leave it be.

    An analogy would be that before the minimum wage law Blacks actually had higher employment than Whites but in 1930 the government brought in the Davis Bacon Act and federally mandated minimum wage. Black unemployment has been high ever since. By the way the way I know about this is from a Black economist.

    Anecdotaly I noticed that Carl Jr uses mentally challenged workers. I don't know if they have one of these certificates or not but honestly they probably do because someone who is mentally challenged cannot produce as much as someone who is not. But it is a win win no matter what the pay, plus it is good PR for Carl Jr as it is obvious this creates higher morale in the workers and makes a customer like me want to come back as this is terrific.
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      Jun 22 2013: Costco also has employees with clear physical disabilities doing things for which their disabilities require only modest accomodation for them to do their assigned tasks as well as anyone would. I expect that in situations in which small accomodations are all that are necessary to compensate, workers are paid absolutely what their work is worth. I imagine the certificates have guidelines to make sure certificates are not used in such cases.
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        Jun 22 2013: In the case of Carl Jr it is what functions they perform.

        I would say that if there was no minimum wage law, there would be no need for the blessing of the all knowing government intervention.

        The value of the work is whatever both parties agree to.

        In the past these individual may end up in some program that sequesters them away at high expense. This way there morale and life is improved immensely with out the need of the blessing of the authority of all things "fair".
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    Jun 22 2013: It should be. What I know in UN Global Compact it is clearly mentioned that employer should ensure minimum wage as per living standard of the country / location . But if country / location's own law tells something different than its really difficult implement Global Compact.
    I thought it's my country only where we live with archaic laws of 20s / 30s while lot of things changed dramatically changed due different reasons .
  • Jun 22 2013: People should be able to help others but a great deal of this is that the big ones do whatever they feel like.
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    Jun 22 2013: I have read that large numbers of young people are now getting their first job experiences through unpaid internships and that many organizations are starting to build in ways of organizing work that take advantage of young people's willingness to work for free.

    Even when it comes to "free" labor, organizations weigh the costs of supervising the employee against the gains from the person's service.

    By coincidence perhaps a year or eighteen months ago I communicated with the volunteer manager at the local Goodwill, who said that they would need more financial resources even to accept more volunteers.

    From this I would predict that if they needed to pay more for their employees, they would hire fewer.
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    Jun 21 2013: Was this topic sparked by Philip Davies telling the UK's MPs to “Let disabled workers opt out of the minimum wage”?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8583005/Philip-Davies-Let-disabled-workers-opt-out-of-the-minimum-wage.html

    Like I just said this is a complex issue.
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    Jun 21 2013: WOW this is a complex issue, every thought I have is followed by a thought of how it could be corrupted

    For example I thought a simple solution be the employees earn minimum wage, but the government pays the difference. So if the government says goodwill can pay $.22 the government would have to pay the $8.03 of the $8.25 minimum wage. But within no time the tax payers will be paying 99% of some company’s salaries that is a political party supporter.

    FYI: here is a link to the U.S. wage provisions. http://www.dol.gov/whd/specialemployment/

    I guess making a full list of those companies that get the special subminimum wage certificates, would be a good start.
  • Jun 21 2013: I think money should be eradicated altogether. We all keep trying to relieve the symptoms without tackling the real problem.
    Money causes poverty, corruption in our government and within the elite, people not having access to health care and proper nutrition, the corruption involved in health care insurances and other industries that are becoming more mandatory for people than voluntary. it is the cause for a large number of people who have been arrested or imprisoned, mental and psychological issues, and employer corruption (i.e. shortening hours for people so they don't have to provide benefits, people being paid under the table, people getting paid less than min wage, etc)

    We spend the majority of our lives prepping ourselves for a job, job hunting, and actually working. While without money, some of us will still have to work, but how advanced our technology is we can invent stuff to do certain things for us, and we can chose a career we like and are passionate about, not a job we need cause they're hiring and I need the money.

    As we evolve, so should our methods of living, what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow.

    thezeitgeistmovement.com