An estimated 5 million working Californians make less than $12.50 per hour. While low-wage workers are critical to California’s economy, they often have limited voice or influence on the economic conditions that affect their families and communities – and even their pay.
Low-wage workers do not always receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. In fact, roughly 600,000 Californians eligible for minimum wage lose an average of $3,400 each to wage theft every year – at a cost of $2 billion annually.
The Fair Work initiative recognizes the dignity of all work, and seeks to ensure that fairness and opportunity are afforded to all workers. Specifically, we support:
Partnerships among community-based organizations, employers, and public agencies to ensure workers get the wages they deserve, while leveling the playing field for employers
Organizations to enlist, educate, and empower low-wage workers to advocate for their rights and legal protections, helping advance public policies that recognize their vital role in California’s economic future
Effective partnerships that improve skills and advancement opportunities, benefiting workers and employers alike
Since January 2018, the Foundation has made 41 grants totaling more than $30 million under the Fair Work initiative.
A two-year grant of $850,000 to support the legal rights of immigrant and low-wage workers through education, training, and policy advocacy, including support for organizations engaged in strategic wage enforcement.
A two-year grant of $600,000 for general operating support. This grant will support Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy in representing the needs and interests of low-wage workers in the region through policy research, leadership development, organizing, and advocacy.
A one-year grant of $210,000 to support multi-organization strategic planning and provide support to low-wage workers in Southern California, through an entity such as the Los Angeles Worker Center Network.
A two-year grant of $700,000 to support domestic workers through education, organizing, training, and policy advocacy, through an entity such as the California Domestic Workers Coalition.
A two-year grant of $950,000 to address barriers and improve access to job opportunities for black workers in California.
A two-year grant of $975,000 to the UC Berkeley Labor Center, including its Low-Wage Work Program, to strengthen its capacity to produce economic research, provide technical assistance, and promote leadership development focused on low-wage work and related issues.