(CBS News) An Illinois branch of Goodwill faced a barrage of criticism after announcing plans to fire disabled workers and blaming it on the state’s rising minimum wage.
Sharon Durbin, president and CEO of Lincoln Goodwill, a Springfield-based organization that runs 15 thrift stores in the state, drew fire from state officials after she told workers employed under a vocational program for people with disabilities that they were losing their jobs. She cited the planned pay hike, which is slated to climb to $15 in 2025, as the reason for the layoffs. As a nonprofit, her organization doesn’t pay taxes, collects state funding and has been awarded state contracts. Under federal rules, it also may pay disabled workers significantly less than the minimum wage.
But Durbin was forced to quickly backtrack after a public outcry, with Illinois Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell tweeting that Goodwill “ought to be ashamed.”