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Texas Is One of the Worst States for Workers: Report

A new study from Oxfam America reported that Texas was ranked 48th on a list of best states to work, a decrease from its 47th rank the year prior, based on its poor wages, worker protections and organizing rights.

A "Welcome to Texas" road sign
A new study found Texas ranked among the worst states in the U.S. for workers.
(Lola Gomez/The Dallas Morning News/TNS)
(TNS) — A new study says Texas is one of the worst states in the country for workers.

Oxfam America, a nonprofit that seeks to end poverty, ranked Texas 48th on its Best States to Work index, down from No. 47 last year.

The Lone Star state fared poorly in all three of the study’s categories: wages, worker protections and organizing rights.

Analyzing data from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, Oxfam found the Southern U.S. lagged behind much of the country.

States that fared worse than Texas include North Carolina, which came in last, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama.

In comparison, Oregon, California and Washington state top the list.

Oxfam examined a variety of factors, including the ratio of minimum wage in relation to the cost of living for a family of four, protections for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, mandates for paid sick and family leave, “right-to-work” laws, which limit union activity, and public employees’ right to collective bargaining and wage negotiation.

This year, the study added heat safety standards for outdoor workers, such as mandated shade, water and rest breaks for outdoor workers. Only three states — Oregon, California and Washington — have implemented such policies.

In a news release, Oxfam researcher Kaitlyn Henderson called for the federal government to step up efforts to help workers.

“This is a perilous time for millions of working families in the U.S., who are struggling every day just to make ends meet,” Henderson said. “As some states have stepped up to protect and support working families, others have refused to act, leaving workers with poverty wages, dangerous conditions, and no rights to organize or act collectively.”

©2022 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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