Sep 13, 2022 - News

Georgia ranks among worst states for workers

Best States to Work Index, 2022
Data: Oxfam America; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

State lawmakers and business boosters love to tout Georgia's reputation as a great place to do business. But, according to Oxfam America, it’s a terrible place to work.

Driving the news: Georgia was the one of the worst places to earn a paycheck, beating only North Carolina and Mississippi in the anti-poverty nonprofit's new study of the best — and worst — states to work.

  • Oregon topped the list, followed by its West coast neighbors California and Washington.

Details: The state lost points for its lackluster wage policies. Georgia has not raised the state minimum wage higher than the federal standard of $7.25.

The nonprofit also dinged Georgia for its lack of workplace protections, such as not providing some form of paid family leave or offering accommodations for pregnant workers.

  • And while the state does offer some protections, including a mandate for equal pay across gender and race, it stops short of extending those protections to domestic workers, Oxfam America says.

The big picture: Southern states, where lawmakers have passed employer-friendly "right to work" laws, dominated the bottom of the "best places to work" list.

  • The laws make labor organizing difficult by prohibiting unions from requiring membership as a condition of employment.

The other side: Last October, Gov. Brian Kemp celebrated Georgia being named the best state to do business by trade publication Area Development for the eighth consecutive year.

  • The state has also topped Site Selection magazine's version of the same list.
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