The Worst States In The US For Worker Pay And Protections Are In The South

The Southeastern states all have one thing in common: they’re the worst for workers.

CBS News reports:

“Labor Day is a federal holiday to mark the achievements of the American worker — but not all workers are treated equally across the states. In fact, workers in some U.S. states fare poorly when it comes to pay and access to sick leave and other protections, according to a new analysis from anti-poverty nonprofit Oxfam America.

In the past several years, states have stepped in to create new worker protections and boost their minimum wages amid a lack of policy changes at the federal level. For instance, the federal minimum wage has been mired at $7.25 an hour since 2009, prompting more than half of U.S. states to raise their own baseline wages in recent years.

Some states have also added laws on paid sick time and family leave, as the U.S. remains the only developed nation without such guarantees for its workers. That means the treatment that workers experience is increasingly determined by their state, ranging from how much they earn to whether they can take a sick day without risking losing pay or even their job.

“The country is becoming a patchwork where where you live determines whether you are protected at work and if you can have a family,” Oxfam researcher Kaitlyn Henderson told CBS MoneyWatch. “The difference between the top and bottom states are notable.”

The worst states for workers have a few things in common, including that they are clustered in the Southeast, with North Carolina scoring the lowest. The following three lowest-ranked states are Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama, the new study found.

The analysis based its rankings on three main issues: wages, worker protections (such as paid family leave) and the right to organize.

Overall, the Southeast is the worst region for America’s workers, Oxfam said. The best section of the U.S. for workers is the West Coast, with Oregon taking the top spot for its treatment of workers.”

For the rest of the story, visit CBS News here.

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