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 June 2018, we have announced $3.37 million in grants under our Fair Work initiative.
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 two-year grant of $500,000 to address the challenges faced by low-wage janitorial workers in California, strengthening compliance with workplace protections and increasing worker agency.
In 2016 and 2017, we made approximately $15 million in grants to expand effective work in the field and to inform the Fair Work Initiative.
A two-year $500,000 grant to support efforts to build grassroots power for underrepresented communities on California’s Central Coast.
A three-year $3 million grant to support low-wage immigrant workers through organizing and leadership development, while strengthening the Partnership for Working Families network in California to collectively raise standards for workers and expand access to quality jobs.
A three-year $1.4 million grant to support low-wage restaurant workers in California by enhancing the occupational skills, leadership development, and civic participation opportunities of workers while engaging employers, policymakers, and consumers to raise industry standards.