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California mulls creating a retaliation hardship fund

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2023 | Employment Law

Many people employed in California have experienced workplace discrimination or another type of workplace violation. Yet, few actually come forward and make formal reports about their experiences. Newly proposed legislation may change that in an effort to make workers who experience harassment, wage theft or other workplace issues feel safer coming forward.

Per CalMatters, a survey involving about 1,000 working adults in California revealed concerning information about why workers often neglect to speak out about wrongdoing.

Why workers often fail to speak up

About two in five California employees acknowledge having experienced workplace violations during their careers. However, only about 10% of them made formal reports about the violations. Of the 10% who did come forward, about half experienced some form of workplace retaliation after doing so. Because so many workers who come forward experience retaliation in the aftermath, many feel as if it is safer for their careers and livelihood to keep their mouths shut.

What legislators might do about it

California’s legislators are mulling the prospect of creating a retaliation fund that would support workers who faced retaliation for calling attention to workplace wrongdoings. Those in favor of creating a retaliation fund for California employees argue that doing so would help workers develop the peace of mind they need to feel safe coming forward. The fund would provide prompt financial assistance to workers who faced retaliation after exercising their rights.

Research shows that 92% of Californians are in favor of the state creating such a fund. Furthermore, two out of three California workers surveyed said that the existence of such a fund would make them feel more comfortable speaking out about workplace wrongdoing.