#AceHealthNews says THE HEALTHCARE PR BLITZ THAT WASN’T – Instead all we really got was that Healthcare.gov lady. Emily Swanson and Mark Blumenthal: “It looked like the ‘health insurance ad wars’ were about to heat up. But the long-anticipated ad campaign to sell Obamacare has not started yet, according to a series of polls conducted by The Huffington Post and YouGov. In mid-December, the Wall Street Journal reported that there would be a ‘coming blitz of insurance ads’ aimed at Americans now eligible to purchase health insurance through the new exchanges created as part of the health reform law. The new slew of ads would be a ‘step up from an already heated-up marketing push’ already underway. So far, however, few people seem to have been subjected to the PR blitz. The Huffington Post and YouGov conducted a series of three weekly polls on Dec. 18-19,Dec. 27-28 and Jan. 2-3. The data from those surveys, combined with ad tracking information provided by Kantar Media, showed little change in the number of health care ads Americans recalled seeing towards the end of 2013. Each survey found that most Americans remembered seeing ads for health insurance, and many remembered seeing those favoring or opposing the new health care law during the previous month. But the percentage of people who reported seeing each type of ad remained stable over the course of the three surveys.” [HuffPost]
#AceNewsServices says due to a loophole in the Fair Labour Standards Act of 1938, employers can obtain a special wage certificate that allows them to pay employees with disabilities a wage much lower than the federal minimum wage. A company that takes advantage of this Depression-era loophole is one of the most well-known non-profits in the United States: Goodwill.
Currently employing more than 100,000 employees nationwide, Goodwill says that about 7,300 of its employees at about 109 different Goodwill locations in 38 states are subject to the special minimum-wage exemption, which the charity says allows them to “save money and hire more workers.”
But advocates for the disabled argue employers should not pay sub-minimum wages to employees because that’s telling someone they are not worth it, and creates a system that tells disabled employees they are not as good as the rest of the workforce.
The loophole law, Section 14(c) of the FLSA, known as the Special Wage Certificate Program, is based on the assumptions that people with disabilities are not as productive as able-bodied individuals, and that a commensurate wage tied to a disabled workers productivity increases employment opportunities for the disabled.
Currently about 300,000 workers nationwide are affected by this legal loophole.
An analysis of Goodwill employee wages by Watchdog.org found that while Goodwill pays some disabled employees as little as 22 cents per hour, which is much lower than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, while some of the non-profits top executives collectively earned more than $53.7 million in 2012.
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- Scoopinion launches, leading online migration toward good reads (venturevillage.eu)
- Bianca Bosker: Why We Quit Facebook: The New Tell-All (huffingtonpost.com)