Non Profits and the Risk of Labor Exploitation

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

There have been several research reports and even articles in the New York Times about how nonprofits inadvertently exploit labor. Some of these exploited folks are is volunteers, and some are very low-paid employees. Many people work for low wages or for free because they believe in the cause in which the particular nonprofit is doing. Still, there’s no excuse for exploiting employees or labor.

In some cases the “labor and employees” are asked to work extra long hours, and they are not always paid for these additional hours that they work, often they work without breaks or under illegal conditions as per the OSHA rules. Some homeless shelters pay homeless people to do odd jobs in order to give them a little extra money, but they do not pay them minimum wage, they are not covered under worker’s comp, and they are used in a way that a normal business would never be allowed to.

Many groups that help ex-cons readjust to public life after getting out of prison also exploit the labor. Nonprofit rehab centers are often also involved in these types of endeavors working the labor extra hours without payment. Sometimes, these nonprofit groups split the money with a businesses, and provide labor to them, using the money to offset the budget costs of their non-profit organization.

The business realizes that these people will be good employees and they cannot quit or they might risk their current situation of either having a bed at a homeless shelter, or risk going back to prison for not having a job.

Prior to retirement, I was in a carwash industry and I noted some of our competitors had hired prison parolees and they severely exploited this labor to make excessive profits without having to pay any of the normal costs associated with employees. At first, I thought it was a good idea that they were giving jobs to people they could not get jobs in the normal workforce, but as I learned more about how they went about their business, I was shocked that everyone would turn a blind eye to the obvious exploitation.

This is something that nonprofit groups have been known for, although it is not talked about much. Quite frankly it should be if we are to walk the talk is a nation when it comes to our national work force. Please consider all this.

Lance Winslow – Lance Winslow’s Bio. Lance Winslow is also Founder of the Car Wash Guys, a cool little Franchise Company;

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