Texas is one of the worst states to work in America, according to a study

DALLAS (KDAF) — If you’re looking for a new place to work, you might want to think twice about accepting this job offer in Texas.

With many people displaced during the COVID-19 pandemic, multitudes have flocked to the Lone Star State in hopes of starting over. Despite this, a new report indicates that Texas is one of the worst states for the American worker, ranking 48th out of 52 (including Washington DC and Puerto Rico).

The report was commissioned by Oxfam, a global organization that says it “combats inequality to end poverty and injustice”.

They examined wage policies, worker protections and rights to organize in all 50 states. After comparing the data, they then ranked each state based on the best state to work in.

So how does Texas compare? Not good. In wage policies, Texas ranked 40th out of 52. In worker protection, Texas ranked 45th out of 52. Finally, in organizing rights, the Texas ranked 49th out of 52.

But what do all these measures mean? Here is the recap.

Salary policies

In reviewing wage policies, officials wanted to answer a fundamental question: Are workers earning enough wages to support themselves and their families?

To determine this, officials looked at the following data points:

  • Ratio between the public minimum wage and the cost of living for a family of four with only one employee. The target salary comes from the MIT Living Wage Calculator.
  • The ratio of a tipped minimum wage to the state minimum wage.
  • Whether or not the state allows localities to enforce their own minimum wage laws.
  • Whether or not states include agricultural workers in their minimum wage.
  • How well average unemployment benefits for minimum wage workers cover the cost of living for a family of four.

Worker protection policies

This indicator relates to the quality of life of workers. Data points include:

  • Protections for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Warrants for equal pay, salary secrecy and no salary history.
  • Mandates for sick leave and paid family leave.
  • Protections regarding flextime, shift pay, split shift pay, notice.
  • Protections against sexual harassment.
  • Protections for excluded workers at the federal level, including extending workers’ compensation to agricultural workers and extending worker rights and protections to domestic workers.
  • Thermal safety standard for outdoor workers.

Right to organize policies

Do workers have the right to organize and support a union? Data points include:

  • State “Right to Work” law.
  • Rights of public employees to collective bargaining and wage bargaining (teachers used as case study).
  • Mandates for project work agreements with the state government.
  • Protection against retaliation mandates.
  • Statewide policies on collective bargaining for public servants.

For the full report, visit Oxfam.

Maria D. Ervin