TV tonight: ‘Rock Center’ investigates low wages of disabled workers

Goodwill workers earn as little as 22 cents per hour
Photo: Wikimedia/Rock Center With Brian Williams

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2013 — Although the current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, disabled workers may earn far less. Tonight “Rock Center with Brian Williams” takes a closer look at Goodwill Industries, a multi-billion dollar charity that employs 7,000 to 8,000 disabled workers.

Because of a 75-year-old federal loophole in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, Goodwill can legally determine disabled employee wages, with no limit to how low that wage can be. One Florida nonprofit was paying an employee just one-cent an hour.

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According to the Department of Labor records, disabled workers in Pennsylvania received as little as $0.22 an hour in 2011. In contrast, Goodwill International CEO Jim Gibbons was paid $729,000 in salary and deferred compensation in 2011.

Gibbons is quick to defend the disparity. “It’s typically not about their livelihood,” he says. “It’s about their fulfillment. It’s about being a part of something. And it’s probably a small part of their overall program,” he said.

According to NBC, the CEOs of Goodwill franchises in America collectively earn about $30 million. We can probably assume these well compensated CEOs feel a lot more “fulfilled” than their disabled employees.

Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. on NBC and see why this disparity is a complicated issue with no easy solution.

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: NBA Playoffs and Brian Williams interviews Chris Christie

As for most of the rest of tonight’s standard selections…. Well, we’re well into the summer rerun desert the networks exile us to every year around this time. So if you can’t find anything palatable on your favorite channels, maybe it’s time to do that “Arrested Development” marathon folks are watching over on Netflix. And that includes all the episodes from the new, Netflix produced 2013 season.

You think your family is dysfunctional? Check out the Bluths. You’ll feel a lot better about your own domestic situation.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: Shark Tank: (Repeat) Kevin O’Leary makes a $1 million offer; six young inventors aged 12 to 18 present their unsafe-driving detector; a mini-muffin that is a twist on s’mores; an online chat therapy business.

CBS: Undercover Boss: (Repeat) Kampgrounds of America CEO Jim Rogers works undercover at his company.

FOX: Bones: (Repeat) Daisy’s first case since breaking up with Sweets is a doozy: the remains of two bodies, one a female cancer patient, the other her life coach, found at the same burial site. Meanwhile, Brennan and Booth discuss their preferences for funeral arrangements after they die.

NBC: Dateline NBC: (New) Bank robber Anthony Curcio talks about his nearly perfect crime; plastic surgery procedures gone wrong; beauty pageant blunders; a skydiver whose parachute malfunctioned.

CW: Nikita: (Repeat) Amanda puts her final plan into effect as the third season ends. Her diabolical plot places Nikita in a life-threatening situation and forces her to choose between saving Michael or herself. The team tries to stop Amanda but, with a diminished Division, fears she may have them out-gunned. 

9 p.m.

ABC: What Would You Do?: (New) A woman who appears on wanted posters tries to pawn stolen goods; a diner is rude about a server’s accent; three teens leave a restaurant without paying; a trucker tries to convince a runaway to go with him; children overcharge at a sweet tea stand.

CBS: Hawaii Five-0: (Repeat) A star football player helps Five-0 investigate the murder of a tech executive during Pro Bowl weekend.

FOX: The Following: (Repeat) Maggie plots Hardy’s demise; Paul reveals a secret of Emma’s. In other events, Hardy and Claire’s history together is recalled.

CW: Supernatural: (Repeat) Sam and Dean investigate a series of vampire kills and discover that some orphans, who lost their parents to vampires, are being trained as hunters by a mysterious man. He claims he is helping the kids get revenge, but Dean is suspicious of his motives.

10 p.m.

ABC: 20/20: (New) Bank robber Anthony Curcio talks about his nearly perfect crime; plastic surgery procedures gone wrong; beauty pageant blunders; a skydiver whose parachute malfunctioned.

CBS: Blue Bloods: (Repeat) Danny learns about voodoo while investigating a stabbing committed by someone in costume on Halloween. Meanwhile, Garrett reveals a deep secret to Frank; and Erin and Nicky take Danny’s sons trick-or-treating.

NBC: Rock Center with Brian Williams: (New) Investigation into wages at Goodwill; Boston marathon bombing survivor Celeste Corcoran tries her new prosthetics; Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jew population; designer Stella McCartney.

Basic cable:

New episodes of: 

WWE SmackDown at 8 p.m. on Syfy

Bridezillas at 8 p.m. on WE

Street Outlaws: Full Throttle at 9 and 10 p.m. on DSC

Kate and Will: Happily Ever After at 9 p.m. on E!

You Live in What? at 9 p.m. on HGTV

Magic City at 9 p.m. on STARZ

Marriage Bootcamp: Bridezillas at 9 p.m. on WE

Randy to the Rescue at 9 p.m. on TLC

Treehouse Masters at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet

Mystery Diners at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Continuum at 10 p.m. on Syfy

Pregnant & Dating at 10 p.m. on WE

The Dead Files at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel

Maron at 10 p.m. on IFC

72 Hours at 10:15 p.m. on TNT

I Found the Gown at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on TLC

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle on ENC

Last Days of Disco on FLIX

Date Night on FXM

Zombieland on FX

Dark Shadows on HBO

Network on SUND

Nocturne on TCM

Mean Girls on TMC

Limitless on TNT

9 p.m.

American Wedding on BRAVO

Prometheus on HBO

Magic Mike on HBO

Drive Angry on SHO

The Dark Knight on TBS

Later tonight:

National Lampoon’s Animal House at 9:30 p.m. on ENC

Heathers at 9:40 p.m. on TMC

They Won’t Believe Me at 9:45 p.m. on TCM

I, Robot at 9:50 p.m. on MOMAX

Beaches at 10 p.m. on FLIX

All the President’s Men at 10:45 p.m. on SUND

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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