REPORT: Iowa failing workers, ranks 39th among states

Oxfam America ranks Iowa just 39th among states to work in America, citing a number of areas where Governor Kim Reynolds and the Republican-controlled legislature has fallen behind.

In order to improve the quality of life for Iowans in the workplace, and increase the state ranking, Oxfam identified the following policy areas:

  • Iowa’s minimum wage is only $7.25 per hour, which is 30.2 percent of the living wage for a family of four ($24.03)

  • Localities in Iowa do not have the capacity to raise the local minimum wage if they choose

  • Iowa does have a so-called “Right-to-Work” law, which suppresses unions.

In addition, Iowa does not:

  • Provide accommodations for pregnant workers.

  • Offer protections for workplace breastfeeding.

  • Prohibit pay secrecy practices in the workplace.

  • Restrict access to salary history to reduce gender and racial bias.

  • Mandate job protected leave for non-FMLA workers.

  • Mandate job protected leave longer than is required by FMLA.

  • Provide some form of paid family leave.

  • Provide some form of paid sick leave.

  • Provide flexible scheduling of worker shifts.

  • Mandate pay reporting or ‘call-in’ pay by employers.

  • Provide split shift pay regulation.

  • Provide workers advanced notice of shift scheduling.

  • Fully legalize project labor agreements to ensure a fair wage to workers on contract.

This list is not meant to be comprehensive, but would mark a vast improvement in the lives of Iowans. Governor Reynolds and the legislature should stop attacking working families, and instead move immediately toward implementing each item on the list, and do everything in their power to make Iowa the best state in the nation for workers, instead of lagging behind.

Iowa scorecard: https://policy-practice.oxfamamerica.org/work/poverty-in-the-us/best-states-to-work/scorecard/?state=IA

National report: https://policy-practice.oxfamamerica.org/work/poverty-in-the-us/best-states-to-work/