Goodwill pays workers more than minimum wage - WSMV Channel 4

Goodwill pays workers more than minimum wage

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Workers at Goodwill Industries in Nashville. Workers at Goodwill Industries in Nashville.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee said a report on NBC's Rock Center that workers are paid less than minimum wage does not happen here.

Harry Smith reported on the program that some Goodwill locations pay workers with disabilities far less than minimum wage.

David Lifsey, the president and CEO of the local Goodwill, said that's not the case here.

Lifsey said each location is its own entity and sets its own pay structure.

There is a provision in the federal law that allows employers to pay workers with severe disabilities less than minimum wage, based on productivity.

Lifsey said Goodwill leaders here decided years ago they would not do business that way.

"Our mission is to provide employment and training for people who can't otherwise find that," said Lifsey. "Either they have a disability or something in their background that they've never learned to work and so that's why we're in business. So it just seems fair to pay folks for what they do."

Robert Guerard has been blind since the age of 7. He's worked at Goodwill for six years.

"I think it's a soul-searching thing," said Guerard. "It just does something for the soul, for a person to be working and make them feel good about themselves. That's what Goodwill provides."

Lifsey said all Goodwill workers in Middle Tennessee make $7.75 or more. The average wage is $10.41 an hour.

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