What can Grab Your Wallet do for me?
The main thing Grab Your Wallet can offer is our ability to reach out to companies and try to get them to stop doing bad things. For instance, if you tell us that your employer is creating an unsafe or hostile work environment in some way, we can reach out to the company and—without mentioning your name or sharing any identifying details about you—we can say, "Hey company, we've heard that you're doing a bad thing. Are you, in fact, doing this bad thing? And, if you are doing this bad thing, do you plan on continuing to do this bad thing?"
In some cases, this simple inquiry alone can prompt a behavior and/or policy change. In other cases, additional steps may be needed.
Examples of times we've reached out to companies on workers' behalf in the past and were able to make a positive change include:
A national drug store chain that, in the beginning of the pandemic, was telling workers they were not allowed to wear masks because it would "scare customers."
A regional restaurant chain where a manager was sexually harassing and assaulting his female employees.
A retailer that was violating workplace safety laws by making shorter and older employees on a large team lift heavy items over their heads without lifts, supports, and/or other required assistive equipment.
What can't Grab Your Wallet do?
It's important to note that Grab Your Wallet is not a law firm, nor a government regulator, nor an organizing body, like a union. Our main way of helping is simply to make inquiries to companies, and when we do that, our goal is primarily to get the bad behavior to stop as quickly as possible in the interest of your safety and well being.
For a more lasting and/or long term approach to addressing workplace problems, it may be important for you to reach out to other resources as well such as government agencies, labor organizers, employee law firms, and/or reporters. We can provide you with a list of resources and other organizations that may be able to help in a other, more substantial ways. We can even try to help you figure out which other organizations it might make the most sense to contact.
How does the process actually work?
When you reach out to us, we will usually evaluate your request, then, if you have shared your contact information with us and have requested it, we follow up with you directly by email. In some cases, we may also ask to schedule a quick phone consultation with you in order to learn more details. Once we feel like we have a good understanding of your situation and what next steps are most comfortable for you, we will often reach out directly to your employer and keep you informed in the background on any progress we are able to make.
My job and my income are very important to me. Will Grab Your Wallet keep my information private?
Yes, absolutely. Your privacy and livelihood are the most important things to us. So, we keep your name and identifying details strictly confidential and generally assume you'd prefer to keep your name out of things. We know most people don't submit complaints lightly, so we treat our communications with you with the utmost sensitivity and privacy.
Beyond outreach to companies, what additional steps can Grab Your Wallet take?
In some cases, we may recommend you consider speaking with a journalist as an unnamed source, which means your name would not be used in any of the resulting coverage. (Of course, we understand if you don't want to do that for any reason.) We sometimes recommend this step because press coverage is one of the most reliable and effective ways to get bad behavior and policies to stop at a company, but of course every case is different and each person has to make that decision for themselves.
If this is something you'd ever like to explore in the background before actually speaking to a journalist, we're happy to offer you our private feedback and advice so you can think about it before deciding. If you'd like, we can also recommend which specific journalists might be best to speak with about your specific situation and how to get in touch with them directly. If you do decide to move forward with it, we can also answer any questions you may have about what it's like to speak to a journalist before doing so.
What can I expect in terms of follow-up?
It depends on whether you have shared your name and contact information with us or not. If you have, we will generally follow up with you by email within the same business day. If you are just providing a tip—information without any contact details attached—we will generally make a note of it and perhaps ask the company if it can verify, depending on the particulars of the details that have been provided.