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Monday, September 3, 2018
Oxfam: The Best and Worst States to Work in America
By News Release @ 11:21 PM :: 3849 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Labor


From Oxfam America, September, 2018

In 2018, workers are not sharing in the bounty of our thriving economy — and the federal government is not going to make changes that matter. Some states are taking steps to keep working families out of poverty, and to give them a decent chance. How does your state rank?

Find out more in our report, view full spreadsheets of the data, or review the methodology.

Hawaii ranks #19

Hawaii ranks #19 overall, #27 for wage policies, #16 for worker protection policies; and #1 for right to organize. In Hawaii, the minimum wage is $10.10.

Hawaii and Alaska rank closely in the labor index. These states are on a similar level in ensuring better compensation and conditions in the workplace – policies related to higher state incomes and a variety of other desirable indicators. Limited new legislation improving the treatment of workers can help Hawaii differentiate itself as a regional leader in worker rights and protections.

California leads the Far West region through greater worker protections and livable wages. It has a minimum wage of $11.00 per hour, 36.6 percent of what it takes to live in the state for a family of four. In Hawaii, this ratio is 31.5 percent, with similar costs of living. California provides rights in several areas where Hawaii is lacking, particularly worker protections.

How does Hawaii rate in the Best States to Work index?
  • Wage policies: Has the state raised the minimum wage to help workers earn a living wage? Do localities have capacity to raise minimum wage to accommodate higher costs of living?
  • Worker protection policies: Does the state provide protections that improve the lives of workers such as paid sick leave, pregnancy accommodation, and policies assuring equal pay?
  • Right to organize policies: Does the state guarantee that workers have the right to organize and sustain a trade union?
Wage policies ranking: #27
  • The minimum wage is $10.10
    This is 31.5 percent of the living wage for a family of four ($32.07).
  • Localities in Hawaii do not have the capacity to raise the local minimum wage if they choose.
Worker Protection policies ranking: #16



  • Does provide accommodations for pregnant workers.
  • Does offer protections for workplace breastfeeding.
  • Does mandate equal pay across gender and race.
  • Does provide some form of sexual harassment protection in state law.


  • Does not prohibit pay secrecy practices in the workplace.
  • Does not restrict access to salary history to reduce gender and racial bias.
  • Does not mandate job protected leave for non-FMLA workers.
  • Does not mandate job protected leave longer than is required by FMLA.
  • Does not provide some form of paid family leave.
  • Does not provide some form of paid sick leave.
  • Does not provide flexible scheduling of worker shifts.
  • Does not mandate pay reporting or ‘call-in’ pay by employers.
  • Does not provide split shift pay regulation.
  • Does not provide workers advanced notice of shift scheduling.
Right to organize policies ranking: #1*


  • Does not have a so-called “Right-to-Work” law (which suppresses unions).
  • Does provide both collective bargaining and wage negotiations to teachers.
  • Does provide both collective bargaining and wage negotiations to police officers.
  • Does provide both collective bargaining and wage negotiations to firefighters.
  • Does fully legalize project labor agreements to ensure a fair wage to workers on contract.

* 21 states tie for #1.

HNN: In ranking on 'best and worst' states for workers, Hawaii does ... OK


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