Workers' Rights

Public Welfare Foundation’s past program area to support policy and system reforms to improve the lives of low-wage working people in the United States.

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Improving the Lives of Working People

Too often, hard-working people have their wages stolen by employers who refuse to pay the promised wage, the legally required wage, or sometimes any wage at all. Other employers cut too many corners, leaving workers vulnerable to being hurt, getting sick or even killed on the job.

Workers often lack sufficient clout to negotiate for improved conditions, even though it is their right to do so. From 2010 through 2020, The Foundation’s Workers’ Rights Program has supported policy and system reforms to improve the lives of low-wage working people in the United States, with a focus on securing their basic legal rights to safe, healthy, and fair conditions at work.

While the Foundation is not giving new grants under this program area, there is still ongoing work to advance Workers’ Rights initiatives. Through the end of fiscal year 2017, Public Welfare Foundation has awarded approximately 409 grants totaling $67.5 million to 125 organizations to advance Workers’ Rights.

Workers' Rights Resources

Workers' Rights

United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities

United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities’ work to organize families who lost loved ones to death on the job so that their stories can influence policy to prevent occupational illness and injury.

The Center for Popular Democracy

The Center for Popular Democracy’s efforts to coordinate state coalitions dedicated to low wage workers’ rights and campaigns to secure workers’ access to justice despite the growing use of forced arbitration.

Centro de los Derechos del Migrante

Centro de los Derechos del Migrante’s organizing, training, litigation, and advocacy to defend the rights of migrant workers who face wage theft, illness and injury, and other abuses in the U.S.