The Bulletin

Virginia may be great for businesses, but a new report says it’s terrible for workers

By: - September 5, 2018 6:35 am
Courtesy Oxfam

Virginia leaders have long trumpeted the state’s high rankings in lists of states that are good for businesses.

Over Labor Day weekend, the state landed on the wrong end of a different kind of list: The best states for workers.

Virginia ranked dead last in the report by Oxfam, a left-leaning charity focused on fighting poverty around the world.

Why is Virginia so bad?

According to Oxfam’s report: “Virginia has the lowest ratio of minimum wage to a living wage, and only a basic equal pay law among all the labor laws in the index. … There is no guarantee from the state government concerning accommodations for pregnancy or the right to pump, no mandated paid sick leave and no legislative support for best practices in work schedules. It is also a right-to-work state, which impedes the ability of workers to unionize and Virginia even prohibits collective bargaining and wage negotiations by public-sector workers.”

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Ned Oliver
Ned Oliver

Ned, a Lexington native, has been a fulltime journalist since 2008, beginning at The News-Gazette in Lexington, and including stints at the Berkshire Eagle, in Berkshire County, Mass., and the Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly in Richmond. He is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, in Great Barrington, Mass. He was named Virginia's outstanding journalist for 2020 by the Virginia Press Association.