Goodwill Southern California is dedicated to accountability and transparency. We welcome anyone to research our practices and strive to provide accurate information. We take pride in the fact that our mission to transform lives through the power of work is supported by 94% of our budget, one of the key reasons we have been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star ranking for the past 12 years. The Goodwill Southern California Metro North WorkSource Center in Los Angeles has also been awarded the 2012 California Awards for Performance Excellence (CAPE)™ Silver-level Eureka Award from the California Council for Excellence. Goodwill Industries International has been recognized as one of the top 25 most inspiring companies by Forbes in 2012 and number 1 in disability social services by Harris Equitrend 2012.
About the Special Minimum Wage Certificate
Goodwill Southern California (GSC) uses available tools to serve the largest number of individuals with severe and multiple disabilities, including the U.S. Department of Labor’s Special Minimum Wage Certificate (FLSA 14c) as provided for under Federal Law (along with some 3,300 plus organizations throughout the U.S.)
Nearly 80 percent of people with disabilities nationwide are not part of the workforce. It’s clear that the marketplace does not provide adequate job opportunities for these individuals. At Goodwill, our mission is to help train and place those with the most significant barriers, into sustainable, competitive employment. Not all Goodwill employees with disabilities are paid using 14c, in fact, some make well above minimum wage. GSC also offers all 14c employees eight paid holidays, ten paid sick days, up to five paid safety days for individuals and groups who do not sustain reportable injuries, access to health care and all employee benefits and activities available at Goodwill.
Disability is not the only factor when determining who will be paid under the certificate, as that is not the only condition of its use. The disability must affect their productive capacity. Per the Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division, “Section 14(c) does not apply unless the disability actually impairs the worker’s earning or productive capacity for the work being performed. The fact that a worker may have a disability is not in and of itself sufficient to warrant the payment of a special minimum wage.” GSC rigorously adheres to this standard through regular competitive employment evaluations.
Participants are referred to GSC by a local Regional Center (RC). Before enrolling in the Work Activity Program (WAP), and Supported Employment Program (SEP) for GSC retail group placements, each participant is provided with an overview of services and a tour of the program. They have the opportunity to observe the available work areas, hours and days they will work, and the method for determining their pay. If the participant is not interested in the work available at GSC, they are referred back to their RC counselor. Those who do enroll are always given the ability to opt-out of the program if they find the work or the environment is not to their liking.
Participants in GSC’s Work Activity and Supported Employment Programs are provided with full-time supervision. Supervisors and coaching specialists provide intensive instruction and guidance. Each participant, along with their GSC vocational rehabilitation counselor, develops an individual program plan (IPP), which includes goals related to productivity, attendance, grooming and hygiene, interpersonal skills, behavior modification, work tolerance, and other general work readiness goals. The IPP includes quarterly progress updates and is updated annually. The ultimate goal is to assist the worker to become prepared for transition to integrated competitive employment.
As a CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited organization, Goodwill Southern California (GSC) prides itself on conformance to industry-driven standards. Among our core service delivery principles are participant-centered planning, participant choice, informed consent, and maximizing the participant’s ability to benefit from the program. No decisions are made without full participant input and agreement. GSC has received high praise and commendation for operating a WAP that offers a wide variety of activities that provides for constant work.
As a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to excellence, GSC is participating in the U.S. AbilityOne Commission’s Quality Work Environment (QWE) Initiative with a goal of ensuring that we assist people with significant disabilities optimize their earning potential and advance to community-based employment.
We invite you to see our mission at work. Please call to schedule a tour at a campus near you. Call 888-4-GOODWILL 888.446.6394, Local: 323.223.1211, TDD: 323.539.2097.