Challenging the Business of Fear: Ending Retaliation, Enforcing Workers' Rights

Raise the Floor Alliance and National Economic & Social Rights Initiative (NESRI)

Based on jointly designed surveys and in-depth interviews, this report, Challenging the Business of Fear: Ending Workplace Retaliation, Enforcing Workers’ Rights, document the breakdown in accountability manifest in widespread incidences of retaliation and lay the groundwork for campaigns to improve how workers are protected at the center of enforcement. It captures the stories of what happened when nearly 300 workers from across multiple industries in Illinois tried to address abuse at work. 

The report highlights the devastating failure to provide these workers with effective protection in the face of retaliation when reporting abuse, despite public reliance on workers’ ability to speak up in order to enforce workplace laws. In the absence of reliable protection, the constant threat of job loss creates pressure for workers to accept illegal abuses like wage theft.

The report also identifies identifies at least three essential elements to advance a worker-centered framework that enables workers to fill the role of frontline monitors of fundamental rights, and demands that the pervasive menace of retaliation be addressed. 

Read the full report here.